The Richmond based theatre will present the world première of Sonali Bhattacharyya’s play from the 5th February.

Full casting has been announced for the upcoming production of Two Billion Beats, directed by Nimmo Ismail. This world premiere will see Anoushka Chadha star as Bettina and Safiyya Ingar as Asha.

Anoushka Chadha’s theatre credits include NW Trilogy (Kiln Theatre) and The Show Must Go On! (MZG Theatre Productions). Her television credits include Extinction and Unforgotten. Safiyya Ingar’s theatre credits include The Child in the Snow and The Box of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall), Marvin’s Binoculars and The Canterville Ghost (The Unicorn Theatre), Jabala and The Jinn (AIK Productions/Turtle Key Arts), September Skies (Small Truth Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (Royal Exchange Theatre/Headlong), Abi (Derby/Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch) Lava and Holes (Nottingham Playhouse), The Captive Queen (Northern Broadsides /Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) and Growth (Paines Plough UK tour); and for television, Summer of Rockets.

Seventeen-year-old Asha is an emphatic rebel, unafraid of pointing out the hypocrisy around her but less sure how to actually dismantle it. Her younger sister, Bettina, wide-eyed and naïve, is just trying to get through the school day without getting her pocket money nicked. Between essays, homework, and bus journeys home the two sisters meet outside the school gates each afternoon, smarting at the injustice of the world around them.

Bouncing with wit, Sonali Bhattacharyya’s mesmerising new play is an insightful, moving and tremendously funny coming-of-age story about the unfairness of growing up in a world where you don’t make the rules.

The Orange Tree has had a long-standing relationship with writer Sonali Bhattacharyya, who was a previous member of the Orange Tree Writers’ Collective and selected to become the 2018 Channel 4 Writer in Residence at the Orange Tree, where she wrote Chasing Hares, winning the Sonia Friedman Production Award and Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award. Following this, Two Billion Beats was originally written by Sonali as a short play for the OT’s Inside/Outside livestreams in 2021 and has now been developed further for this production.

The creative team behind this production includes: Debbie Duru (Designer), Alex Fernandes (Lighting Designer), Tingying Dong (Sound Designer), Chi-San Howard (Movement Director), Tian Brown-Sampson (Associate Movement Director) and Christopher Worrell (Casting Director).

Two Billion Beats will play at the Orange Tree Theatre from the 5th February until the 5th March.