Flaming Theatre in association with Theatre503 presents

Edinburgh Previews 2018: Really Want to Hurt Me

Written by Ben SantaMaria
Directed by Ben SantaMaria
Book Now

£10 Adult Standard


Devon, 1984. Constant pressure to be straight and act “masculine” makes a 14-year-old schoolboy feel more like he’s living in Orwell’s “1984”. School bullies. Teenage heartache. Suicidal self-hatred. That accidental first orgasm. Trying to tape the Top 40 off the radio without the DJ talking over the songs. Dancing defiantly to your Walkman. A celebration of surviving all that life throws at you and escaping into the joys of pop music like your life depends on it. Because in a way it actually does. A long time ago… but are things really that different now? “Do you really want to hurt me?”

A funny, bittersweet and painfully honest new one-person play about growing up gay in rural Britain in the ‘80s, with sharp relevance for the struggles of LGBTQ teenagers today, and a soundtrack featuring Culture Club, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins and more. Pick of the Festival at the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter. Sell-out dates at the Old Red Lion. Developed with support from Arts Council England and Soho Theatre Young Company.

Flaming Theatre’s previous work includes Jarman Garden, about filmmaker/artist Derek Jarman, at Riverside Studios. A finalist for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. “A beautifully choreographed tour through Derek’s life and world” (Neil Tennant – Pet Shop Boys). “A rollercoaster ride of sensations…a sublime interdisciplinary sensual assault” (The Times). One of Mark Shenton’s 5 Best Shows in London. Praise for Really Want to Hurt Me: “Wow, this is powerful stuff. A cracking script and a superb actor. Hilarious. Wonderful” (London Theatre 1). “Enchanting. Striking. Poignant solo dance. Funny and uneasy in equal measure, this quietly beautiful show is one not to be missed” (Reviews Hub). “It certainly has something special. Natural charisma and vulnerability. Wonderful moments of exploding angst” (Stage Talk). “Universally relevant. This protagonist is as much a mouthpiece for this new generation as any” (Arthur’s Seat).

Ben SantaMaria

Ben SantaMaria’s latest play reached the Top 100 list from 1060 entries for Soho Theatre’s 2017 Verity Bargate Award. His play Hunters was selected for a ScriptSpace reading at The Space and his short plays have been staged at Theatre503, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre N16, Courtyard Theatre and ARC Stockton. Ben took part in the National Theatre Studio Directors' Course and assistant directed at Shakespeare's Globe, Howard Barker’s Wrestling School and Kali Theatre. His recent directing work includes co-directing After Orlando for Chaskis Theatre at Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Vaults. His book Cruising Culture is published by Edinburgh University Press.


Artistic Team
Ben SantaMaria
Ben SantaMaria
Ryan Price

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