NEWS: Lyric Hammersmith Theatre Announces Casting for UK Premiere of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play 

The UK premiere of Jocelyn Bioh‘s play will take place at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from the 8th June until the 15th July 2023.

The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre has announced casting for the upcoming UK premiere of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh.

Directed by Monique Touko, winner of the  2022 Stage Debut Award for Best Director, the production will star: 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.

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?

Talking about the UK premiere of the play, Jocelyn Boh said: “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!”

Meanwhile, Monique Touko commented: ” 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.”

The creative team behind the production includes: Set Design by Paul Wills; Costume Design by Kinnetia Isidore; Wigs, Hair and Make-up Design by Cynthia De La Rosa; Lighting Design by Matt Haskins; Sound Design by Tony Gayle; Movement by  Aline David and Casting by  Julia Horan CDG.

To find out more about the show and book tickets visit:

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