Theatre & Opera Director
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Three girls. Best friends forever. All the big issues: love, sex and religion… But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that matters now is survival. GIRLS is a funny and fiercely passionate play about enduring friendship, love, strength and girlhood, and explores the voices and stories behind the trending hashtags and headlines that so quickly become yesterday’s news.

Theresa Ikoko's award-winning play premiered at HighTide Festival 2016 before playing at Birmingham Rep and Soho Theatre. In 2017, GIRLS was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the British Council Showcase before touring to HighTide Festival (Aldeburgh and Walthamstow), Salisbury Playhouse and Theatre Royal Plymouth. The production was nominated for the Alfred Fagon Audience Award.

For more information please visit Talawa's website here.

Creative Team

Writer: Theresa Ikoko
Set & Costume Design: Rosanna Vize
Lighting Design: Andy Purves
Composition & Sound Design: Richard Hammarton
Assistant Direction (2017): Charlotte Fraser


2017: Heather Agyepong, Yvette Boakye, Yasmin Mwanza
2016: Yvette Boakye, Abiola Ogunbiyi, Anita-Joy Uwajeh

Selected Reviews

**** Elayce Ismail's almost unbearably taut production... is profoundly moving. Scorchingly intelligent and as powerful as a gut punch.
The Times, 2016

**** ... clever, audacious, entertaining and full of promise.
Time Out, 2016

***** Elayce Ismail's direction is just as brave as the writing. Making bold statements, she challenges the audience to reflect on their global awareness.
Broadway World, 2017

***** Deeply political, magnificently performed and filled with tense action and dialogue, GIRLS manages to grip and amaze the audience with its characters and powerful message from start to finish. As the audience is plunged into the gripping writing and superb staging, there is no doubt this play will have you on the edge of your seat, emotioanlly caught by every moment.
Broadway Baby, 2017


2017 production photos by Pamela Raith: