Lyric Hammersmith Theatre today announces casting for the UK première of critically acclaimed smash hit comedy School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh one of America’s most exciting writers.
The winner of the 2022 Stage Debut Award for Best Director, Monique Touko, directs Heather Agyepong (The Power – Amazon Prime), Bola Akeju (Ted Lasso – Apple TV), Deborah Alli (Undercover – BBC), Francesca Amewudah-Rivers (Bad Education – BBC), Jadesola Odunjo (You – Netflix) and Tara Tijani (Death in Paradise – BBC), with additional casting to be announced. Following 60 productions across the USA, the UK première opens at the Lyric on 14 June, with previews from 8 June, and runs until 15 July.
Jocelyn Bioh says, “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls 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. I never imagined that I would have an opportunity to share this play with an audience outside of New York City, so I am beyond thrilled to make my UK playwriting debut at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. This is such a dream come true; and that I get to work with such an incredible director, cast and design team is the cherry on top of the most delicious theatrical cake!”
Monique Touko adds, “I visited Aburi School for Girls, the school that inspired Jocelyn, on a trip to Ghana at the beginning of the year, and I was reminded of how important the story of and representation in School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play is. The play is a comedy with universal appeal and explores the vulnerable, tender moments of teenagehood. These nuanced and jubilant portrayals of Black women aren’t seen on stage or screen enough. We have a stellar cast and creative team bringing this message to London and I’m so excited to work with the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre for the show’s UK premiere.”
School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
A Lyric Hammersmith Theatre production
Written by Jocelyn Bioh
Directed by Monique Touko
Thursday 08 June – Saturday 15 July 2023
Set Design: Paul Wills; Costume Design: Kinnetia Isidore;
Wigs, Hair and Make-up Design: Cynthia De La Rosa; Lighting Design: Matt Haskins; Sound Design:
Tony Gayle; Movement: Aline David; Casting: Julia Horan CDG
1986. Ghana’s prestigious Aburi Girls Boarding School.
Queen Bee Paulina and her crew excitedly await the arrival of the Miss Ghana pageant recruiter. It’s clear that Paulina is in top position to take the title until her place is threatened by Ericka – a beautiful and talented new transfer student. As the friendship group’s status quo is upended, who will be chosen for Miss Ghana and at what cost?
Bursting with hilarity and joy, this award-winning comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls around the world.
This production is produced in association with Mark Gordon Pictures and Francesca Moody Productions