Wildcard Theatre’s Ruckus is a compelling, unsettling one-woman thriller exploring the suppression and destruction caused by coercive control.
Taking the audience through the sensations of being at the beginning of a coercively controlled relationship, this tense and thought-provoking drama will raise questions about women’s vulnerabilities to psychologically violent relationships within today’s patriarchal society. It explores how easy it is to be trapped in a cycle of threats, humiliation and intimidation and the system of power in our society which enables and protects the actions of perpetrators.
Lou (Jenna Fincken, writer and performer) is a 28-year-old primary school teacher who’s wholly aware the audience are watching her. She wants to show them exact moments in her relationship, breaking down the progression of coercion as Lou journeys from freedom to being trapped.
With the incorporation of a visceral sound design, Fincken draws us from our comfortable place as an audience, right into Lou’s experiences as she explores how a relationship that’s anything but loving can develop. From establishing love and trust, via isolation, monopolising perception, inducing debility and exhaustion, enforcing trivial demands, punishments, rewards, threats and degradation, the audience are with Lou every step of the way – right through to what kind of ending this could lead to.
The moments that make up Ruckus are inspired by real women and real stories. Fincken makes use of reports from leading charities such as SafeLives as well as the work of leading sociologists, investigative journalists and researchers tackling domestic abuse and coercive control, to create an accurate and experiential play.
Coercive control is an issue that is still not widely recognised, yet its side-effects kill up to three women every week in the UK. In Scotland, the police receive a call about domestic violence every nine minutes. Audience members needing help or advice after the production can access discrete care packages with details of various resources and charities.