The Accidental Mechanics Group




Let’s Not Beat Each Other to Death is a genre-defying play/memorial/electro-pop dance party. Inspired in part by the brutal killing of a Halifax queer activist and an attack against an outspoken gay musician, its scope expands outward and becomes a search for explanation, compassion and catharsis on a global scale. 

Part monologue, part concert, part treatise on personal accountability, the show is a tribute to and celebration of LGBTQ people around the world who have been affected by violence, asking us to search for the roots of violence within ourselves. 

As a participatory event that combines dance, theatre, and music, Let's Not Beat Each Other to Death offers audiences the chance to remember, celebrate, think and dance.

Work on the show began during residencies at Videofag, Toronto’s hub for innovative queer performance, and at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Ireland. The show had its first workshop presentation in July 2014 at Halifax’s Queer Acts Theatre Festival. 

Let’s Not Beat Each Other To Death has since toured to the Stages Festival (Halifax), Intrepid Theatre’s inaugural OUTstages Festival (Victoria), SummerWorks Performance Festival (Toronto), PuSh Festival (Vancouver), Festival TransAmériques (Montréal), and the IMPACT Festival (Kitchener).

The Accidental Mechanics Group creates new work that explores and celebrates the nature of performance, persona and queer identity, employing whatever means necessary: storytelling, music, dance, media. At the centre of each event is an intimate act of direct contact between the performer and the audience. A chance to say what we really think and feel. Right now.

After each performance, the excellent Rob Johnstone will be playing some tunes for us to shake it all out to. 

Rob Johnstone is better known to Bristol's clubbers as Horseplay's Jim Carna (and he very much regrets taking a DJ name that doesn't work out of context of equestrian wordplay). He's the dark horse of the Horseplay jockeys but his music knowledge and skills on the decks have garnered rosettes and best in show awards at club nights across the country.  Rob's taste encompasses anything which engages the body and soul alike, and enjoys playing a slinky warm-up set or an afternoon sun terrace as much as finishing off a night with a transcendent slow-build spine-tingler - but his aim has always been to play those records that make you interrupt a conversation you’re having in the garden and say ‘erm, I’m really sorry but I freaking LOVE this song; let’s go dance!’. 

Please note, door sales will be cash only.

“Let’s Not Beat Each Other To Death destroyed me (in a very good way)”

Mooney on Theatre

“Powerful and cathartic.”

The Chronicle Herald

Image: Mel Hattie