We are thrilled to announce brand new cast for the return of Sonali Bhattacharyya’s Two Billion Beats.
Nimmo Ismail and Tian Brown-Sampson will direct Shala Nyx (Asha) and Tanvi Virmani (Bettina) in the return of this exhilarating production following its acclaimed world premiere at the OT in 2022. The production opens on 24 January with previews from 20 January and runs until 4 February 2023.
Shala Nyx plays Asha. Shala is an actor and creative activist rooted to South East London. Her recent work as a creative activist includes; Wipe These Tears and The Peoples Tribunal: Afghanistan Sessions co-created with Bézna Theatre and Sxsterhood: An Act Of Resistance all for the Camden People's Theatre. Stage credits include, Kabul Goes Pop (Brixton House), A Thousand Splendid Suns, (National Tour), Cookies (The Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Gravity (Bristol Old Vic). Screen credits include: The Old Guard (Netflix), Casualty, Eastenders, Henry VI (BBC). Recent voice over work includes; Hunted In Afghanistan (C4 Dispatches), Octonauts (Netflix) and Corpse Talk (YouTube). Shala trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Tanvi Virmani plays Bettina. Tanvi graduated from BOVTS in 2022. She made her professional stage debut playing Miranda in the acclaimed production of The Tempest (Bath Theatre Royal). Tanvi most recently made her West End debut in Life Of Pi playing Rani and Pi (Wyndham’s Theatre). Her radio credits include The Nazi’s Rise to Power.
Completing the creative team are: Debbie Duru (Designer), Alex Fernandes (Lighting Designer), Tingying Dong (Sound Designer), Anna Short (Associate Sound Designer), Chi-San Howard (Movement Director), Christopher Worrall (Casting Director), Lara Mattison (Deputy Stage Manager) and Waverley Moran (Assistant Stage Manager).
Seventeen-year-old Asha is an empathetic rebel, inspired by historical revolutionaries and iconoclasts Sylvia Pankhurst and B R Ambedkar. She’s unafraid of pointing out the hypocrisy around her but less sure how to actually dismantle it.
Meanwhile, her younger sister, Bettina, wide-eyed and naïve, is just trying to get through the school day without getting her pocket money nicked. When Bettina turns to her for help, Asha starts to ask what standing up for her political beliefs really looks like.
Bouncing with wit, Sonali Bhattacharyya’s upbeat play is a coming-of-age story about the unfairness of growing up in a world where you don’t make the rules. Sonali Bhattacharyya was 2018 Channel 4 writer in residence at the OT, where she wrote Chasing Hares, winning the Sonia Friedman Production Award and Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award, produced at the Young Vic in 2022.
Directed by Nimmo Ismail, whose work includes Glee & Me by Stuart Slade and The Christmas Star by Russell T Davies (both Royal Exchange Manchester), Fragments by Cordelia Lynn and My England by Somalia Seaton (both at Young Vic), and SNAP by Danusia Samal (The Old Vic), and Tian Brown-Sampson, whose directing credits include Different Book Covers (Tamasha), Lost Laowais (VAULT Festival) and Like Yesterday (Young Vic).