GScene: Edinburgh Festival Review: Really Want To Hurt Me ★★★★★. By James Ledward
“Ryan Price is truly electric"
Flaming Theatre in association with Theatre503 presents...
£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’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.
“Ryan Price is truly electric"
"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."
“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.”
"SantaMaria’s text is rich in humour, but richer still in (often uninhibited) truth"
"Price delivers a stunning performance of a troubled young man who has a lot of questions about himself"
“Funny and uneasy in equal measure, this quietly beautiful show is one not to be missed."