20 Minutes of Action

Theatre (new writing, verbatim)

  • Pleasance Courtyard - Beneath
  • 12:15
  • Aug 29
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
  • Group: Lionheart Theatre
  • Warnings and additional info: This show contains distressing themes, sexual violence and strong language.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


This unflinching case study scrutinizes one of the most pertinent conversations of our time: women's safety. Using the exact words of the victim, the perpetrator and their families, this play guides you through the most controversial sexual assault case in America. Found guilty of three felonies of sexual assault, an elite college sportsman is sentenced to just six months and released after three. The judge's justification: a long-term sentence would have a 'severe impact' on the perpetrator's future. This verbatim play 'boldly delves into an examination of women's safety, rape culture and patriarchal double standards' (AllEdinburghTheatre.com).

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Queue in courtyard. 5 steps down into space, For access via locked lift ask staff or at Box Office.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 2 - 5
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Lorna Calder 28 days ago

Have just watched the last performance of this powerful and thought provoking show. Brilliant cast, well directed and moving to watch. Well done to everyone involved, it really does provoke discussion about a distressing topic. So glad I managed to catch it before it finished!

Agnes Perry-Robinson 29 days ago

This really was an incredibly moving show. I went in to it expecting to feel all kinds of things but, as with all good theatre, it reached parts of me that I had no idea it would. All members of the cast and crew are to be commended for their delicate yet fair treatment of what can be a very unsettling issue. I could not even write the review straight after, nor really string a conversation together as the play had such a heavy impact on me. The acting was phenomenal; and the cadence in which the characters moved with one another further enhanced the power of the script and the messages behind. This is not a play that you ‘fit in’ around your Fringe schedule, nor one you go to because you’re an hour early for some comedy show, but one that will genuinely alter your perspective. Thank you so much for this!

Franny Moorhead 32 days ago

An outstanding piece of new theatre by Pollyanna Esse. To say this play was thought provoking is an understatement, it has made me think over and over again and again. The use of verbatim quotes heightened the power of the play and Esse’s decision to tell stories of other survivors to conclude the play was an awakening call to action. Having seen this play in its rehearsal stages - it was amazing to see the evolution of the characters, performance and staging. A must see! Congratulations to all involved.

Julia Moorhead 34 days ago

Lasting only 50 minutes this play will absorb your thoughts for many minutes more. Two days later & we haven’t stopped talking about it.

Based on one of the most notorious sexual assault cases in recent times, this play is a hugely powerful piece of theatre. Using verbatim words from the trial & witnesses we follow the case through the thoughts & words of victim, perpetrator, their supporting families, witnesses & others caught up in the trial.

Such a notorious case was a rich source for the writer Pollyanna Esse. However, she has cleverly scripted this into a play which, whilst presenting the facts of this one case, asks us the audience much bigger societal questions.

This is an unyielding examination which delves into issues of women’s safety, rape culture, patriarchal double standards & a justice system weighted towards the rich.

The staging is simple but gives you laser focus on the words & the actors. Allowing the words to breath gives them such power that one of our party commented it was almost cinematic & yet there is little on stage.

For some this play was a siren call of hope. For others it brought up huge anger & a sense of the tragically large mountain to climb.

Whatever it makes you feel - it will make you feel. This is a play that should & does provoke conversation. Esse is to be recommended for writing & producing the best theatre I have experienced in a long time.

Jana 34 days ago

This is a must see. Powerful. Moving. Thought provoking. Brilliantly acted and presented. The most powerful Fringe show we have seen. Go.

Jaeden Reppert 34 days ago

I went into this performance (I came down to the Fringe specifically to see it) knowing that it was going to tear me up inside. What I didn't know was just how much it would do that. This play is raw, powerful, thought-provoking, and every similar descriptor. It will hurt to watch, but that is the beauty of it. Every actress and actor performs their role so convincingly, and the lines are delivered with such force and emotion, that I sat in a stunned silence long after the bows. Bravo to everyone involved. This is a play that needed to happen, and entices conversations that need to happen. I hope that this play is a step towards a better world, because it deserves to be nothing less than that. Bravo again.

Janet 35 days ago

This moving, powerful and thought-provoking play is my must-see top tip for the Fringe.

Rosie Elow 37 days ago

Such a moving piece of theatre, excellently acted and simply but powerfully executed. Would recommend to anyone. One of the best shows I’ve seen at the fringe so far. I had tears in my eyes at the end - will be thinking about this show for days.

Gordon Powell 42 days ago

Theo review says it all. A must see, powerful stuff and 5 stars from me.

Theo MacDonald 42 days ago

Watching this play about a criminal case showcases two crimes. The first, a rape that is expertly and powerfully presented in a truly provoking manner. The second crime is that this show has not received a 5 Star review yet. A must see that displays the reality of rape and sexual assault in a chilling and deeply affective manner.

David Stone 42 days ago

Very tough subject matter for the cast but they handle it extremely professionally. There are a couple of standout moments that really sent chills through me. This is a must see. Well done to all involved.

eileen O'Sullivan 45 days ago

Incredible - everyone should see this. A subject that needs to be discussed more openly and penalised more justly

Peter Beswick 46 days ago

Using the exact words of the victim, the perpetrator and their families, the play from the Lionheart Theatre Company guides you through the most controversial sexual court case in recent American history. The play provides you with the actual information available at the time and the serious long-term impact of all the concerned parties.
Found guilty of three charges of sexual assault, an elite US sportsman is given just six months in prison and serves only three!!!! The judge feeling that a long-term sentence would have a “severe impact” on the said elite sportsmans future. Collating all the available information available via statements, letters and transcripts of those involved, the play lays down the obvious failings of the US criminal justice system in such cases of sexual assault
Clearly not an easy subject matter to cover and whilst there is the obvious victim, there are certainly no winners here either. This is an issue that has likely affected every single person sometime in their life or will affect other people they know as they travel through their lives. Various levels of Sexual assault and any related punishments is therefore an important subject matter that every individual needs to speak about.
The performance does contain distressing related themes and strong language at times, so clearly not an easy watch for some, especially when so emotionally and perfectly well played by the two main actors Shannon Yuen (The Victim) & Benjamin Sumrie (The perpetrator) and supported so magnificently by Louisa Chang (The victim’s Sister) Fiona Forster (The Perpetrators Mother) Connor McCausland (The Perpetrators Father) Elle Watermeyer (The Witness) and last but certainly not least Emma Lindsey (The Reporter) but the rewards you will receive in return will be immense.
Having just witnessed such a stunning set of word-perfect performances, 20 Minutes of Action Collated and Directed by newcomer Pollyanna Esse, Produced by Milo Hynes is certainly a very engaging must see, during this year’s festival.

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Theatre Travels 38 days ago

The performances are strong, the story interesting and I would urge people to see it at the fringe as the script raises some important questions.

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British Theatre Guide (3/5 stars) 44 days ago

It is a sensitive intense fifty-minute performance that the audience found very moving.

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ThreeWeeks (4/5 stars) 46 days ago

A hard-hitting verbatim piece that at times felt like watching an ‘in conversation’ crime documentary.

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Culture Fix (4/5 stars) 46 days ago

20 Minutes of Action boldly reframes a truly controversial court ruling in a sharply effective and prescient manner highlighting the injustice of a patriarchal society where issues regarding women’s safety, consent and rape culture must urgently be addressed.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.