Really Want to Hurt me – 4 Stars

Hurt

Really Want to Hurt me

Old Red Lion Theatre

Reviewed – 19th February 2018

★★★★

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

 

You don’t have to be an eighties kid, confused about your sexuality or have experienced high school bullies for this work to strike a Duran Duran inspired chord.

This one man show performed by Ryan Price is a series of monologues and musical breaks that delve into the life of a young man who is trying to work it all out. Mastering a hefty amount of dialogue, Price delivers a stunning performance of a troubled young man who has a lot of questions about himself.

Set in 1984, Price jumps between references to The Smiths, Eurythmics and of course Culture Club but also acknowledges his more serious thought process by nodding towards the George Orwell classic, 1984. This jumble of pop culture and teenage confusion means that ultimately at school, Price is a target.

The opening scenes portray a young lad who is so used to the occasional punch in the face, unkind comments and locker room shenanigans that it has simply become second nature, ‘what’s on the menu? Liver and mash followed by a punch, tapioca pudding with a spoonful of jam and the things they call me that I can’t repeat’.

As the play progresses, we see Price start to accept his individuality, from proudly writing his favourite bands across his school bag to joining acting classes. However, there is an underlying darkness at all times. Price has suicidal thoughts on more than one occasion, begins to attempt suicide but doesn’t follow through. It is harrowing because we see him at his best, throwing himself into his acting, repairing his relationship with his step dad, finishing school and progressing through life – we see how much he has to live for! Ben SantaMaria brings to light this sad but poignant truth, that young people who may see themselves as outsiders can be driven to such dark ideas and acts.

Longlisted for the Heretic Voices monologue prize, Really Want to Hurt Me is the type of play that covers real issues in an all-too-real world.

Reviewed by Stephanie Legg

Photography by Ben SantaMaria

 


Really Want to Hurt me

Old Red Lion Theatre

 

 

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