BURGERZ by Travis Alabanza

Hackney Showroom presents


Hackney Showroom supports artists who sit outside the mainstream, carving out a space for innovative marginalised voices who are developing new forms of performance. It works with non-traditional theatremakers – drag artists, poets, actors, cabaret artists, actor-musicians – who want to create a piece of theatre, often for the first time.

Travis Alabanza is a performer, writer and theatremaker who is one of the UK’s most distinct trans voices. Their work has been seen at venues such as the Tate and the Barbican and their debut poetry book Before I Step Outside [You Love Me] has been shipped to over 19 countries. Alabanza talks extensively on trans politics, with recent events at the Royal College of Arts, Oxford University and Harvard. As a performer, Alabanza works regularly with Duckie, David Hoyle and Scottee, all of whom are known for their innovation in the arts and LGBTQ+ scenes.

After someone threw a burger at them and shouted a transphobic slur, Alabanza became obsessed with burgers and reflected on the people around them who had done nothing to help. BURGERZ is a solo show that works through this experience, as Alabanza attempts to cook a burger on stage with assistance from an audience member. The piece examines transphobia and encourages people to do something when they witness harassment. This is a charismatic, confessional performance that uses personal experience to explore prejudice in a far-reaching sense, and that aims to create change.

BURGERZ is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Please note that real meat is used on stage and the show contains haze, loud noises and themes of harassment and assault. Strictly no latecomers.

In the press

“We are made to watch – and do so with awe… A terrific, tricky and layered show about complicity” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Alabanza is at their poised best when improvising with the audience, funny and knowing… absolutely vital” The Stage

Production details

  • Writer

    Writer and Performer: Travis Alabanza
  • Director

    Sam Curtis Lindsay
  • Choreographer

    Movement Director: Nando Messias
  • Designer

    Set and Costume Designer: Soutra Gilmour, Associate Designer: Isabella van Braeckel, Lighting Designer: Lee Curran and Lauren Woodhead, Sound Designer: XANA
  • Number of people on stage

    1 (plus two audience participants)
  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight


    Details available upon request

  • Touring Availability

    From December 2019
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    7m x 5.5m
  • Text-based

    Dense (important for audiences to have a good understanding of English)
  • Also contains:


In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED
  • Production dates

    1–25 AUGUST
  • Production times

  • Duration

    70 MINS
  • Audience capacity




Audio exhibition of six community conversations held with trans and gender-non-conforming people in six cities across the UK in 2018, exploring and unpacking what it means to be trans in public space.

Additional productions

For All the Women Who Thought They Were Mad
by Zawe Ashton
Directed by Jo McInnes
Cast of 8

For All The Women Who Thought They Were Mad tells the story of career woman, Joy, and her descent into psychological freefall. Through her surreal encounters with those around her, we’re taken on a journey through Joy’s slippage and begin to question whether her distorted reality is simply reality seen through the prism of racial and gender bias.

As a chorus of five women connect Joy with an ancestral heritage that courses through her veins, we’re also invited to consider how women of colour in the UK are severed from their cultural landscape and can be misdiagnosed and mis-medicated. At the intersection of race, gender and mental health, this extraordinary, experimental and urgent piece of theatre examines the multitude of forces that collide and conspire against black women living in contemporary Britain today.