Assembly Theatre presents Really Want to Hurt Me at Edfringe from 2-27 August 2018

Really Want To Hurt Me

Really Want To Hurt Me

A funny, bittersweet and painfully honest new one-person play about growing up as a gay teenager in rural Britain in the 1980s, featuring a soundtrack of that decade’s greatest music by Culture Club, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins and more.

Devon, 1984. Under constant pressure to be straight and act “masculine”, a 14-year-old lad feels his life is more like George Orwell’s “1984”. School bullies… Teenage heartache… Suicidal self-hatred… An accidental first orgasm… Trying to tape the weekly Top 40 from the radio without the DJ talking over the songs… Dancing defiantly to your Walkman…

With seven ****London reviews, this acclaimed play is 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. It may be set a long time ago, but are things really that different now? “Do you really want to hurt me?”

Written and directed by Ben SantaMaria. Performed by Ryan Price. Suitable for ages 14+.

Sold-out London previews at the Old Red Lion and at Theatre503. Pick of the Festival at the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter. Developed with support from Arts Council England and Soho Theatre Young Company.

Stonewall’s 2017 School Report study found that almost half of all LGBT pupils face bullying, half regularly hear homophobic insults and many suffer low self-worth, self-harm and attempt suicide. With a growing public awareness of mental health issues for increasing numbers of young men, Really Want To Hurt Me has strong relevance in 2018.

Ben SantaMaria’s earlier play lulla reached the Top 100 list from 1060 entries for Soho Theatre’s 2017

Verity Bargate Award. He took part in the National Theatre Studio Directors’ Course, assistant directed at Shakespeare’s Globe and co-directed After Orlando for Chaskis Theatre Company at Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Vaults, Waterloo. His other plays have been staged at Theatre503, Southwark Playhouse and ARC Stockton.

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. Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) called it “a beautifully choreographed tour through Derek’s life and world”. The Times said it was “a rollercoaster ride of sensations…a sublime interdisciplinary sensual assault”. One of Mark Shenton’s 5 Best Shows in London.

London reviews for Really Want To Hurt Me

“Wow, this is powerful stuff. A cracking script and a superb actor. Hilarious. Wonderful.”


“Enchanting. Funny and uneasy in equal measure. Beautiful. Not to be missed.” **** Reviews Hub

“It certainly has something special. Natural charisma and vulnerability. Wonderful moments of exploding angst.” *****  Stage Talk

“Funny, touching and beautifully showcases the talents of the charming Ryan Price.”

West End & Broadway director Sean Mathias

Web:  Twitter: @FlamingTheatre  Facebook: FlamingTheatre


Venue:  Assembly Hall, Baillie Room, Mound Place, EH1 2LU

Time: 15.00   Running Time: 60 mins

Dates: 2–27 August. Previews 2-3 August. No show Mon 13 & Mon 20 August.

Tickets: Previews £7; 6-7, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26 August £11 (£10); 4-5, 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, 27 August £10 (£9)

Bookings:, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Hall and Assembly Roxy, Assembly George Square, Assembly Checkpoint and Assembly Rooms