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Tink Flaherty

Why do we treat strangers so much better than our friends and family?

An image of Tink Flaherty sitting on a wooden bench in a council estate, facing the camera. They wear double denim, white socks and black loafers, and have a boxing glove on their right hand. Their brown hair is short, and falls slightly over their right eye. Around the bench are a pair of trainers, a glove, and a packet of Twinkies
Benched, Tink Flaherty. Photo by Christa Holka

Since 2018, Tink has been taking their bench out to public locations across the country and inviting strangers to sit with them, in a quest to find authentic forms of connection.  

Benched is a unique exploration of human relationships – the formative and defining ones with those close to us, and the incidental meetings with strangers that stop us in our tracks. Through their unique style of transgentle storytelling, Tink demonstrates the radical and transformative power of offering undivided attention. At once raw and impulsive, confrontational and gentle, Benched confronts intersecting issues of class, gender, neurodivergence and marginalisation, expanding performance tropes and challenging compulsory neuro normativity.  

Prepare for a tender, spontaneous and uncompromising insight into Tink’s world, told through mementos, stories and improvised exchanges.   

Created and performed by: Tink Flaherty
Also featuring: Abra Flaherty
Directed by: Rosana Cade
Mentor: Katy Baird
Sound editing by: Jo Jackson
Sound mixing by: Liz Helman
Production Manager: Sorcha Stott-Strzala
Movement director: Frauke Reinhardt
Dramaturgy: Daniel Oliver & Libro Bridgema
Access Support: Catherine Hoffmann
Produced by Artsadmin
Co-commissioned by Cambridge Junction and Artsadmin

Supported with public funding from an Arts Council England’s Project Grant

  • The performance makes reference to themes of alcoholism, violence and drugs.
  • There will be sealed alcohol and prescription medications in the space.
  • There are moments of loud sound during the performance.

The Space 

  • There will be space for the performers and space for the audience to sit.  
  • There will be objects placed on the seats where the audience will sit 
  • At the start of the performance, the stage will be empty.  
  • When Tink walks in, a wooden bench will be place in the centre of the stage.  
  • As the show continues, Tink will collect objects from the audience and place them on the stage around the bench.  


At the beginning, audience members will be asked to look after the performer’s objects that are placed on the audience seating. The performer may ask for these objects during the show.  

During the performance there will be moments where the performer will make eye contact with and talk to the audience. They may bring audience members up to the stage.  

Participation is optional and the start of the show, the performer explains where you can sit if you do not want to participate.

The performance refers to themes of alcoholism, violence and drugs. There will be sealed alcohol and prescription medications in the space. There are moments of loud sound during the performance.

Read more about accessibility at Cambridge Junction Here.

Date and time

10–11 April 2024

Please note
This is now a past event.


Cambridge Junction
Clifton Way