‘School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play’ announces initial casting

The UK premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s play about teenage women growing up with high school troubles in Ghana will open at the Lyric Hammersmith this summer.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Find out the initial casting for Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, with previews at Lyric Hammersmith from 8 June, ahead of an opening night on 14 June, and performances to 15 July.

Set at Ghana’s Aburi Girls Boarding School, student Paula and her friends look forward to the Miss Ghana pageant. When a new transfer student threatens the status quo, their collective high school future looks risky.

The play premiered at New York's MCC Theatre in 2017. 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.

“[This play] is a love letter to young Black girls. I wanted to highlight all that is beautiful and special about us and our place in this world. This play celebrates our humor, joy, heartbreaks, and the deep journey I went on to owning my beauty,” said playwright Jocelyn Bioh.

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: School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play cast (Photo courtesy of production)

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