Three generations of proud African women connect across two continents, time and space in Here’s What She Said To Me

Lola May as daughter Aramide, Oyi Oriya as mother Omotola and Anni Domingo as grandmother Agbeke in Here’s What She Said To Me

YORK ST John University graduate Mojisola Elufowoju directs Utopia Theatre in Here’s What She Said To Me in her return to York Theatre Royal tonight and tomorrow.

The Sheffield company’s first show since the pandemic lockdown in March 2020 was conceived by Mojisola, who graduated in 2011 with first class honours in theatre and directing.

 “I found almost that I’d found myself when I did that particular course,” she says. “I knew what I wanted to do. You just try your hand at something, and you just know that something about it feels within the skills you’ve already got.”

Mojisola won the York Theatre Royal Graduate Prize in her final year at York St John, a prize that gave her mentoring opportunities and the experience needed to set up Utopia Theatre in 2012. Her African theatre company is now resident at Sheffield Crucible Theatre, with Mojisola in charge as both CEO and artistic director.

Here’s What She Said To Me was written by Oladipo Agboluaje after conversations with Mojisola about her relationship with her mother and daughter. The resulting play combines drama with music, poetry and movement to tell a moving story of daughters and mothers in the world of migrations and shifting identities, braving life with an undying hope, optimism and resilience.

Meet Agbeke, Omotola and Aramide, three generations of proud African women that connect with each other across two continents, time and space. Together they share their struggles, their joys, tragedies and broken dreams in order to find healing in the present.

Mojisola’s production features Lola May as daughter Aramide, Oyi Oriya as mother Omotola and Anni Domingo as grandmother Agbeke, with music performed by Alan De First. 

The play was first staged at the Crucible Theatre as part of Sheffield Theatres’ Together Season in 2020. Cut short by the second national lockdown, the production found a new life online through livestreaming. In late-2021, the production returned as one half of a double bill at Hackney’s Arcola Theatre, featuring in their Today I’m Wiser Festival.

Mojisola says: “We’re so excited to finally be able to take our production of Here’s What She Said To Me on tour. Since its first staging in 2020, we always intended to bring the production to audiences across the country. 

“This is our most ambitious tour to date. Not only will this be the most venues we’ve ever included on a tour, but we’re also continuing to utilise our online streaming site to allow our work to be accessible to audiences across the UK and in our international community. 

“After the challenges of the past 18 months, it feels particularly special to be taking a production across the UK, including rural venues. We’re hoping that the scale and length of the tour allows us to develop a touring model in order to build a sustainable future for touring our work and thereby increase representation on our stages.”

Utopia Theatre in Here’s What She Said To Me, York Theatre Royal, March 17 and 18, 7.30pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or at