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10 Sep — 29 Oct
A World Premiere by Theresa Ikoko Pumphouse
This is a past event

Scorchingly intelligent and as powerful as a gut punch.

The Times

HighTide, Soho Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company present the World Premiere of Girls.

"Why waste money printing flyers if you're just going to shoot everyone anyway?'

Tisana, Ruhab and Haleema are normal girls. But they are captive in a world of smoke, dust and gunfire. Their hometown destroyed, their families missing and their childhood friends killed, these three girls have been kidnapperd by Boko Haram.

Girls explores the voices and stories behind the trending hashtags and headlines that so quickly become yesterday’s news. This is a story of an enduring friendship, of love, strength and girlhood.

HighTide Logo White on Black SQExtended   Soho Black Logo   Talawa Logo

Running Time: 1hr 30m no interval.

Supported by


A brave, striking debut, made memorable by superbly nuanced, gripping central performances.

The Sunday Times

Clever, audacious, entertaining and full of promise

Time Out

Dates & Locations

HighTide Festival 10 Sep — 29 Oct Book tickets
Birmingham Repertory Theatre 20 — 24 Sep Visit site
Soho Theatre 27 Sep — 29 Oct Visit site

Cast & Creatives

  • Abiola Ogunbiyi Tisana

    Abiola Ogunbiyi trained at the Emerald Music School and ArtsEd, London. 

    Theatre includes: The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales and Novello Theatre); Travels With My Aunt (Chichester Festival Theatre); Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse / Royal Exchange Theatre); Peter Pan (Watermill Theatre); Hairspray (Cork Opera House); Hair (European Tour); Soho Cinders (Gala Concert, Queen's); Little Shop of Horrors (Kilworth House); The Merchant of Venice (National Centre for The Performing Arts, Beijing).
    Television includes: 2008 Beijing Olympics Closing CeremonyBuilding the Olympic Dream (BBC).

    Abiola is also a writer, director and producer. Her work includes The Danish Girl (Short film, Official Selection at the Hackney Attic Film Festival) and her YouTube vlog Abiola Is My Name.

  • Yvette Boakye Ruhab

    Yvette Boakye trained in acting at The Oxford School of Drama.

    Since completing the three year course she has gone on to perform at Hampstead Theatre, Soho Theatre (Writers Avenue), Arcola Theatre (Miniaturists 50), Drill Hall, Blenheim Palace (Oxford School of Drama), Etcetera Theatre (Skin Like Butter) and Latitude Festival. Her first written play, which she also directed was shown at York Gardens in summer 2016.

  • Anita-Joy Uwajeh Haleema

    Theatre credits include: Fury (Soho Theatre); We Wait in Joyful Hope (Theatre 503); Othello (Smooth Faced Gents, Edinburgh Festival); Titus Andronicus (Smooth Faced Gents, Greenwich Theatre); Gone Too Far; A Day at the RacistsLady From the SeaIvanovThreesomeTwelfth NightThe White Devil; Iphigenia in Aulis (Drama Centre); Bow Down (The Opera Group); Every Human Creature (Southwark Playhouse Young Company).

    Film credits include: Agent 47 (Fox).

    TV credits include: Lucky Man (Carnival for Sky 1); Not Safe for Work (Clerkenwell Films for Channel 4); Transporter (Atlantique Productions).

  • Theresa Ikoko Writer

    Following the staged reading of Normal in HighTide Festival 2015, Theresa Ikoko, a Talawa Writers’ Programme playwright, returns to HighTide for her debut production. Her play Girls premieres at the 2016 HighTide Festival, and recently won the Alfred Fagon Award and was a named finalist for the Verity Bargate Award.

  • Elayce Ismail Director

    Elayce Ismail was awarded the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors 2014/2015, under which she was Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio and directed Andrew Whaley’s The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco at the Gate Theatre. She was co-founder/Artistic Director of Offstage Theatre from 2005 – 2009 and trained at LISPA.

     Direction includes: The Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco (Gate Theatre); Stay Another Song, Simpatico (Young Vic); The Lost Ring (NT, Deutsches Theater Berlin); Nanjing (The Yard); Treasure Island: Making a Scene, Alfred Fagon Award: GIRLS, Black Plays Series readings (NT); Struggle (Talawa Firsts, London & Bristol Somali Festivals); Bed & Breakfast (Brighton Fringe Festival & tour).

    Associate/assistant direction: The Virtues of Things (Royal Opera House); The Sound of Yellow, A Season in the Congo (Young Vic); Coming Home (Arcola Theatre).

     Puppetry: Dr Korczak’s Example (Unicorn Theatre); Fast Burn (Kneehigh/NYT).

     Performance: The Magic Flute (Complicite, ENO); Ring-a-Ding-Ding (Oily Cart); In A Pickle, (Oily Cart,RSC).

  • Rosanna Vize Designer
  • Andy Purves Lighting Designer
  • Richard Hammarton Sound
  • Nadine Rennie CDG Casting Director
  • Sarah Cowan Production Manager
  • Tanith Mackenzie Stage Manager
  • Mica Taylor Deputy Stage Manager

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