Skip links

  1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to search



An image of BULLYACHE cast performing TOM. They make gestural. dramatic poses, wearing trashy, beaded, glamorous costumes. They have clownish makeup and moody expressions
TOM, BULLYACHE. Photo by Joel Palmer

In a holding room, participants wait. A pageant is about to begin. No call time, perpetual purgatory.

Blending the myth of Orpheus with the Government Department of Work and Pensions, TOM is a vertigo-inducing pop-culture collision of working class and queer expression. With original live music and dance, TOM oscillates between hyper-speed pop, ambient waves, and auto-tune vocals. A boundary-pushing queer thriller, TOM is dripping in BULLYACHE’s signature brand of genre-bending artistry. Music, dance, visual art, and costumes are glue-gunned together in fragile harmonies.

BULLYACHE and cast burst into song, they fight, f***, live, laugh, and love… desperately deconstructing the heavy price of being in a world that demands too much.

Video by Daniel Chan @danvisuals 

BULLYACHE is a music-duo and dance company created between friends and artists Courtney Deyn and Jacob Samuel. Courtney and Jacob choreograph, direct, score and conceptualise their work in collaboration with company dancers.  

BULLYACHE started during the pandemic and has since been supported by Arts Council England, Artsadmin, PRS, Raze Collective, The Place, Britten Pears, Palm Heights: Cayman Islands and Bijloke LOD Muziektheater. They have been a part of Barbican Theatre Open Lab 2022/23, New Voice Composers of Sound and Music 2021, and are developed artists with Hackney Showroom. 

Instagram: @bullyache_
Youtube: @bullyache

Cast: BULLYACHE with Belén Laroux, Ed Mitchell, James Olivo, Lewis Walker & Yen Ching-Lin

Co-directors: Jacob Samuel & Courtney Tylor Deyn

Assistant Choreographer: Scilla Rajalin

Rehearsal Director: Previously Scilla Rajalin, currently Oscar Li 

Lighting Designer: Laurie Loads

Set Designer: Alan Scott

Producer: Valentina Vela for Artsadmin

TOM was originally produced by Fraser Buchanan

Commissioned by The Yard Theatre

Supported by Arts Council England, Sound and Music, Britten Pears, Genesis Foundation, PRS, Fabric and The Abderrahim Crickmay Charitable Settlement

Developed with support from Artsadmin LAB

ZOO Venues Southside (Main House) is accessible to wheelchair users

Captioned performance: Tuesday 22 August
BSL interpreted performance: Thursday 24 August

Sensitive content: Flashing light/strobe, loud music, simulation of violence

Date and time

21–27 August 2023

Please note
This is now a past event.


ZOO Southside (Main House)
117 Nicolson St, Newington
Horizon Showcase