“I feel something in my heart. It’s all murky red and dark and mysterious and wild and unknown.”

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 after sold-out London previews and 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 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. Really Want To Hurt Me speaks directly to young LGBTQ people’s experiences today as well as to older generations.

Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence shortlisted.
Developed with support from Arts Council England and Soho Theatre Young Company’s Edinburgh Lab.



Ryan Price



Ben SantaMaria

Writer and Director

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