Idris Elba joins production team for ‘School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play’

The Golden Globe-winning Luther star will serve as an associate producer for the UK premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s play at Lyric Hammersmith this summer.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Idris Elba will join the School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play creative team as an associate producer. The play begins previews at Lyric Hammersmith from 8 June, ahead of an opening night on 14 June, and performances to 15 July.

"I am excited to… help shine a light on Ghanaian stories in the UK. Jocelyn Bioh is changing the way West African stories are being told on our stages… Not only is [the play] incredibly funny, its setting is relatable to the experiences of millions of teenagers all over the world… my hope is that new audiences will engage with the show and find their own connections with this unforgettable story and its endearing characters,” said Elba.

Set at Ghana’s Aburi Girls Boarding School, the School Girls play follows student Paula and her friends as they look forward to the Miss Ghana pageant. When Ericka, a new transfer student, threatens the status quo, their high school future hangs in the balance.

In a review on New York Theatre Guide, a critic said: “If you are a woman and you went to high school, there is much that rings painfully true in Bioh's seventy-minute immersion in those estrogen-charged, initiation-to-adulthood dramas, rife with both tenderly shared secrets and blindsiding betrayals.”

Monique Touko directs Heather Agyepong, Bola Akeju, Deborah Alli, Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, Jadesola Odunjo, and Tara Tijani, with further casting to be announced.

The show features set design by Paul Wills, costume design by Kinnetia Isidore, lighting design by Matt Haskins, sound design by Tony Gayle, and movement by Aline David.

Book School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: Idris Elba (Photo courtesy of Lyric Hammersmith)

Originally published on

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