Flaming Theatre in association with Theatre503 presents...

EXAMPLE: Returning Edinburgh Show – Really Want To Hurt Me

Written by Ben SantaMaria
Directed by Ben SantaMaria
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£10 Adult Standard


RUNNING TIME / NOTICES: 70 Minutes (no interval). Suitable for ages 14yrs+.

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 from 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.

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

Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence (shortlisted)

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

Flaming Theatre’s previous work includes Jarman Garden (Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award finalist), a multimedia, devised production about filmmaker/artist Derek Jarman, at Riverside Studios.

Praise for Jarman Garden:
“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.
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 play Deathcamp [Homeland Jingle] was published in The Dionysian, and his book Cruising Culture is available from Edinburgh University Press.


Artistic Team
Ben SantaMaria
Ben SantaMaria
Ryan Price
GScene: Edinburgh Festival Review: Really Want To Hurt Me ★★★★★. By James Ledward
Posted on 9 August 2018

“Ryan Price is truly electric"

Read the full article

Jack The Lad: Really Want To Hurt Me - The Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★
Posted on 10 March 2018

"there is a warmth, honesty and heart to this play that makes it feel fresh and original... a keenly observed and worthy documentation of what it was like to be a gay teenager in Britain in the mid eighties... showcases a writer and an actor excelling at their craft."

Read the full article

LGBTQ Arts Review: Really Want To Hurt Me ★★★★. By Amie Spudge Taylor
Posted on 21 February 2018

“this play is pure honesty – plain and simple. It is packed to the brim with nostalgia and memories that will twang on your heart-strings.”

Read the full article

Arthur's Seat: REALLY WANT TO HURT ME, OLD RED LION THEATRE ★★★★. By Arthur Jones
Posted on 20 February 2018

"SantaMaria’s text is rich in humour, but richer still in (often uninhibited) truth"

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Spy in the Stalls: Really Want To Hurt Me, Old Red Lion ★★★★. By Stephanie Legg
Posted on 19 February 2018

"Price delivers a stunning performance of a troubled young man who has a lot of questions about himself"

Read the full article

Reviews Hub: Really Want to Hurt Me, The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter ★★★★. By Bethan Highgate-Betts
Posted on 26 January 2018

“Funny and uneasy in equal measure, this quietly beautiful show is one not to be missed."

Read the full article


“Absolutely brilliant.” ★★★★★ – Boyz Magazine 

“[an] absorbing coming-of-age monolgue” – The Stage

“showcases a writer and an actor excelling at their craft” ★★★★ – Jack the Lad

“heart-wrenching” ★★★★  – LGBTQ Arts Review

“[an] incredibly touching and heartfelt play”- Broadway Baby

“Ryan Price is truly electric” ★★★★★ – GScene 

★★★★ – LondonTheatre1

“Funny and uneasy in equal measure, this quietly beautiful show is one not to be missed.” ★★★★ – Reviews Hub

“Stunning.” ★★★★ – Spy in the Stalls

“rich in humour, but richer still in truth” ★★★★ – Arthur’s Seat 

“deeply human, disarmingly honest and quietly moving” – reviewsphere   

★★★★ – Stage Talk 

“Touching, evocative… conjures time, place and character with a very effective degree of empathy.” – The Scotsman

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