Devon, 1984. Constant pressure to be straight and act ‘masculine’ makes a schoolboy feel like he’s living in George Orwell’s “1984”. School bullies. Teenage heartache. Suicidal self-hatred. That accidental first orgasm with your best mate. Trying to tape the Top 40 off the radio without the DJ talking over the songs. Dancing defiantly to your Walkman to stay alive. A long time ago… But have things actually changed all that much? “Do you really want to hurt me?”
This critically acclaimed dark comedy with dance sequences returns to Theatre503 after a hit Edinburgh Fringe run, featuring a classic soundtrack of Culture Club, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Kate Bush and more. It’s about escaping into the joys of music like your life depends on it – because in a way it actually does. Stonewall’s 2017 School Report study found that almost half of all LGBTQ pupils still face bullying, half regularly hear homophobic insults and many suffer low self-worth, self-harm and attempt suicide. With growing public awareness of mental health issues, including for increasing numbers of emotionally isolated young men, REALLY WANT TO HURT ME speaks directly to young LGBTQ people’s experiences today as well as to older generations.
Written and directed by Ben SantaMaria. Performed by Ryan Price.
Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence shortlisted.
Developed with support from Arts Council England and Soho Theatre Young Company.
Really Want to Hurt Me is at Theatre503 22nd to 24th November 2018.
“Wow, this is powerful stuff.”
★★★★ Stage Talk
“Not to be missed.”
★★★★ Reviews Hub
★★★★ London Theatre 1
★★★★ Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ LGBTQ Arts Review
“Showcases a writer and an actor excelling at their craft.”
★★★★ Jack the Lad
“Rich in humour, but richer still in (often uninhibited) truth.”
★★★★ Arthur’s Seat
“This absorbing, moving story captures the well of loneliness that a young man falls into as he come to terms with his sexual identity. The songs provide a rich counterpoint to our teenager’s life and fears. A deeply personal testimony.” The Stage
“Touching, evocative. Conjurs time, place and character with a very effective degree of empathy.” The Scotsman
“Incredibly touching and heartfelt. A sense of deep emotional empathy that roots us in his struggle.” Broadway Baby