‘The smaller you are, the quicker your heart beats. But it doesn’t matter what size your heart is, we all only get an average of about two billion beats over our lifetime. It’s just a pump at the end of the day, right?’
Seventeen-year-old Asha is a rebel, inspired by historical revolutionaries and unafraid of pointing out the hypocrisy around her – but less sure how to actually dismantle it. Her younger sister, Bettina, wide-eyed and naive, is just trying to get through the school day without having her pocket money nicked.
With essays to write, homework to do, and bus journeys home, the two sisters meet every afternoon, outside the school gates, to tackle the injustice of the world.
Sonali Bhattacharyya’s play Two Billion Beats is an insightful, heartfelt coming-of-age story and a blazing account of inner-city, British-Asian teenage life. It was originally presented in the Inside/Outside season, livestreamed from the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, before receiving a production there in this full-length version in 2022, directed by Nimmo Ismail.
‘In Bhattacharyya’s entertaining play, two teenage sisters negotiate the battlefield of school while learning about the political battlefields of the past’
— The Stage on Two Billion Beats as part of Inside/Outside