Twenty People a Minute is a powerful play documenting the journey of four refugees as they flee across the world, highlighting the everyday angels helping keep them alive. The show was written by Samantha Robinson and performed by Isabella Velarde, Benjamin Cheetham, Michael Reddington and Melissa Ainsworth. The show is set around four characters, with four different journeys and four different motivations, yet highlights the many similarities in refugees' stories.
Well-rehearsed and choreographed with an established rhythm, this was an emotional piece with impressive performances. The quantity of the show spoken in synchronisation was quite evident in the cohesive talent on stage. The uses of Silence are powerful throughout this piece. The multi-rolling was slick, with a clear establishment of characters. These actors are well-trained. Melissa Ainsworth’s performance was compelling, showing the story of a young mother who has left her child behind and is a strong actor in the making.
The first half of the performance felt a little repetitive, which in many ways reflects the refugees' journeys. This could have been reduced to keep the show's pace up without impacting the story needing to be told. The backing soundtrack, although doing a great job of setting the scene in some places, was overwhelming in others and distracted from the story. Some of the movement also felt unnecessary, although at other times was very useful for keeping the play moving and evidencing the ever-pressing need to move on when in flight.
This play has a powerful message with a critical, ever-increasingly relevant story and performed well. It would be well-suited for use within a school setting to help inform the young minds of tomorrow.