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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.   

Part of What Shall We Build Here, Artsadmin’s festival of art climate and community, from 28 June – 2 July 2023.

Tink will be holding ‘bench sittings’ in and around the Barbican’s Golden Lane Estate throughout the festival, using interactions and exchanges with local people to inform their performances.

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 Court Room is in the First Floor of Toynbee Studios, and is wheelchair accessible via a lift from the Ground Floor.

  • All of our toilets are gender neutral. Fully accessible toilets are located on the ground, first and third floors.
  • In the first floor disabled toilet, there is a wheelchair-accessible shower with a fold-down shower seat and an ergonomic sink that is adjustable in height.
  • In the third floor disabled toilet, the accessible toilet has a shower with a hoist, which is an Opemed OT200c and has safe working weight of 200kg, and a powered nursing bench with safety rail.
  • There is a quiet space on the third floor.
  • We welcome guide, hearing, emotional support and assistance dogs. A drinking bowl is located in the café foyer.
  • More about our accessibility policy

For further access requests or more information about the event before you attend please email

  • 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.

Date and time

2 July 2023
Pay What You Can

Please note
This is now a past event.


What Shall We Build Here Festival, Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
Greater London
E1 6AB