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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.


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. 

Co-directors: Jacob Samuel & Courtney Tylor Deyn

Rehearsal Director: Oscar Li

Producer: Valentina Vela for Artsadmin

Manager: Dora Limfer

Lighting Designer: Laurie Loads

Costume Designer: Jordan Sherman (Lambdog1066)

Performers: Courtney Deyn, Yen-Ching Lin, Ed Mitchell, James Callego Olivo, Lewis Walker, Belen Leroux

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

Jacob Samuel & Courtney Deyn are BULLYACHE. Since BULLYACHE started at the end of the pandemic they have become artists in residence at the Barbican, Britten Pears, Birmingham University and immersive residents on the European Network Opera Academies. They have been nationally supported by Arts Council England, Fabric, Sound and Music, Artsadmin, Kunstraum, Hackney Showroom, The Yard, The Place, ArtsDepot, Raze Collective, PRS, Pushkin House, Stanley Arts, Abderrahim Crickmay and the Genesis Foundation. And internationally by Bijokle Summer Academie, LOD Musiktheatre Belguim, Les Urbaines (Switzerland), Grand Theatre de la Ville (Luxembourg), Open Palm Cayman Islands. They have been previously mentored by Alain Platel and Itzik Galili. Their current mentor is Katie Mitchell. 

Yen-Ching Lin is a performer, dance artist, and teacher. She is developing her own research and creative practices in Movement, Photography and Video. Born in Taiwan, she studied at the Taipei National University of the Arts and then at the London Contemporary Dance School. She has collaborated with artists and companies such as Maresa von Stockert, Charles Linehan, Jonathan Lunn, and Didy Veldman, Theo Adams Company, Stefan Jovanovic, BalletLorent, Clod Ensemble, Hofesh Shechter Company and Bern Ballet under the direction of Stijn Celis, Akram Khan Company, AE, Waldorf project, Lee Mingwei, Alice Anderson, Punchdrunk, and Bullyache.

Boston Gallacher (they/them) was born in Glasgow, Scotland and after training at Rambert School in London, moved to The Netherlands to dance for Nederlands Dans Theater for 7 years. In that time, they created 20 new works for the company and travelled the world. They are now working as a freelance dancer, movement director and dramaturg. As a non-binary person, Boston seeks to find a place for expression of progressive gender roles through movement. Believing that dance has the power to transcend language and succumb to the sensorial knowledge of the body.

James Callego Olivo has worked with a variety of dance, theatre and film for choreographers & directors such as Jasmin Vardimon, Akram Khan, Hannes Langolf, Joan Clevillé, James Cousins, Jess & Morgs Films, Alleyne Dance, Antler Theatre, Company Nil, Frauke Requardt/David Rosenberg & Jason Mabana, Bullyache. A lecturer at London Contemporary Dance School, often teaching, and Tripspace, The Hub Studios, company classes for Punchdrunk, and various workshops in UK & Italy, as well as teaching improvisation to FKA Twigs, dancing in music videos & shoots for Ikea, Lauren Auder, Beyonce, Mykki Blanco & Marvel. Performed throughout the UK, France & Belgium.

Lewis Walker is a London-born queer, Jewish, non-binary artist working with movement. They are an ex GB gymnast, who trained and competed from the ages of 6 – 21 and gained World Champion status in Acrobatic Gymnastics. They retrained as a Contemporary Dancer at London Contemporary Dance School and have been working and choreographing in theatre, film, fashion, music and the commercial sector. They have been choreographing and dancing for people and companies such as Tim Walker, Yorgos Lanthimos, Holly Blakey, BULLYACHE, Leah Walker, Mica Levi, Alt- J, ANOHNI, Tirzah, Burberry and Sadlers Wells. Lewis currently runs a highly attended dance workshop at Chisenhale Dance Space, offering movement for all, with the intention to create sober dance therapy raves at club venues. 

Belen Leroux is a contemporary performer, dance artist, and actress. Having toured the world with Dua Lipa and Rita Ora, Belen has been featured on Vogue and Nike. Belén performs in an array of venues and contexts, from the theatre to legendary spaces, stadiums, television and film. Exploring and merging movement techniques with different artforms to create her own language. Most recently, Belén performed with Alison Goldfrapp at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival, and was part of Kyle Minogue’s ensemble for BBC iPlayer. Belén is online @belen_fab18.

Date Title Venue City
12–13 March 2024 TOM Black Box Teatre, Oslo International Theatre Festival Oslo
5–7 October 2023 TOM Kampnagel Hamburg
21–27 August 2023 TOM ZOO Southside (Main House) Edinburgh
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