Flaming Theatre in association with Theatre503 presents...

Really Want To Hurt Me

Written by Ben SantaMaria
Directed by Ben SantaMaria
Book Now


Select the tickets you need via Book Now. If £5 tickets are available, the discount will automatically appear at Checkout. Alternatively, contact our Box Office for availability.

RUNNING TIME: 70 Minutes

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 dark comedy with dance sequences returns to Theatre503 after an acclaimed 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 has strong relevance for today.

Suitable for ages 14+.

Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence shortlisted.

Judges’ Pick of the Festival at Exeter’s Bike Shed Theatre.

Developed with support from Arts Council England and Soho Theatre Young Company.


Really Want To Hurt Me Press 2018

★★★★★ Boyz     

★★★★★ GScene 

★★★★   Stage Talk 

★★★★ Reviews Hub

★★★★   London Theatre 1

★★★★   Spy in the Stalls

★★★★   LGBTQ Arts Review

★★★★   Jack the Lad

★★★★   Arthur’s Seat 

“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

“Absorbing. The understated manner of the direction and performance makes the production deeply human, disarmingly honest and quietly moving.”Reviewsphere


FLAMING THEATRE’s previous work includes JARMAN GARDEN, a multimedia devised production about filmmaker/artist Derek Jarman, at Riverside Studios. An Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award finalist. “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.

Ben SantaMaria

Ben’s work has appeared at venues including Theatre503, Soho Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Assembly Hall in Edinburgh and ARC Stockton. LULLA reached the Top 100 for the 2017 Verity Bargate Award and Ben was shortlisted for this year’s Royal Court Playwriting Group. He 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 play DEATHCAMP [HOMELAND JINGLE] was published in The Dionysian and his book CRUISING CULTURE is available from Edinburgh University Press.


Thursday 22 November Thu 22 Nov 20:30 Book Now
Friday 23 November Fri 23 Nov 20:30 Book Now
Saturday 24 November Sat 24 Nov 20:30 Book Now
Artistic Team
Ben SantaMaria
Ben SantaMaria
Ryan Price
★★★★ Jack the Lad
Posted on 10 March 2018

“Showcases a writer and an actor excelling at their craft.”

Read the full article

★★★★ LGBTQ Arts Review
Posted on 21 February 2018

“Beautiful, heart-wrenching.”

Read the full article

★★★★ Arthur’s Seat  
Posted on 20 February 2018

“Rich in humour, but richer still in (often uninhibited) truth. Universally relevant. Sensitively portrays a character, a struggle, a set of coping mechanisms and a lived experience that LGBT audience members of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and generations will relate to – and allies will certainly be able to draw their own meaning from too.”

Read the full article

You may also like