a scream that is not mine
Currently in creation
Elle wakes by her Darling Man’s side, and goes to watch the sunrise, as Paris slowly awakes.
She knows the rhythm and daily habits of the women who live in the flats opposite; she watches them every morning, she observes.
Elle’s morning is played out to the soundscape of the neighbour’s wife going about her day in the most silent way; she is a simpering kind.
Oscillating between what is real and what is in her mind, A scream that is not mine, is a poetic monologue that observes the complexities of a loving relationship where two people lose themselves in a passion that was once shared but now veers to one of codependency and obsession.
What is the moment, that space in our mind, which is wedged between our understanding that we are in an abusive relationship and the decision that eclipses our rational, and makes us stay?
based on the monologue
"A scream that is not mine"
Voilà Europe Festival
Performance 16th November 2020
Text improvised on writing
by Colleen Cameron
for 65% Theatre
Directed by Alex Kampfner
Performed by Marie Zabukovec
Music by Benedict Taylor
Produced by Alex Kampfner
Assistant Produced by Sara Bird
Rehearsals for CELINE, based on the text of a scream that is not mine, 65% Theatre.
Photos by Colleen Cameron
The idea for A scream that is not mine began when Alex Kampfner of 65% Theatre reached out during the spring lockdown, and highlighted the issue that the number of domestic abuse cases had increased, as victims were trapped and unable to escape from their abuser.Not having been the victim of an abusive romantic relationship myself, I chose that I wanted to write about subtle manipulation, which I believe is at the source of relationships that could develop into situations of domestic abuse; how it can go unnoticed or indeed be used ourselves.
The monologue is also about a woman’s “role” and how she exists when she is observed and observes herself solely in accordance to her relationship with a man. The piece highlights the confusing time that women live in now, where within one breath we are told that we have to look attractive and stay looking young, but not attract the wrong sort of attention.
The truth that I first admitted to myself before I wrote A scream that is not mine, is that I would be the first to tell someone to leave a man who is treating them incorrectly, whilst I myself could stay with someone who treats me in exactly the same way. I lie to myself about it.
What are the lies we tell ourselves to hold onto the illusion that we have fallen in love with?
Is it the illusion we love rather than the person in front of us?
We all have the capacity to recognise something that is bad for us, and choose to do it anyway.
We often alter stories, out of shame, out of discomfort, we want to be in control of how a story is told. Even in creating this project and the interviews I conducted, we were not all able to tell a story with complete honesty to one another. And that is the crux of the issue when it comes to domestic abuse.The normality of violence and the hyper-sexualised image of women, has a part to play too in our own expectations of what a man should be like with us (in a heterosexual relationship). It is not unusual for me to hear my friends say that they get bored of seeing someone who is too nice and I have a lot of friends who watch porn, both men and women alike.
All the while, something my Grandmother had said to me is that in her lifetime she saw that society had gone one step forward to only take two steps back in how women are represented so openly as sexualised objects of desire, particularly in film, TV and commercials. My first audition as an actress when I graduated from RCS was for a STARZ series full of nude scenes, and whilst it was a problem for me, a lot of people would not have batted an eyelid.
I wonder if the normalisation of porn, and the obsessive male gaze controlling our culture, having had the loudest voice up until now, has stopped most of us questioning why we think it’s alright, and normal, and why we seek that in our own relationships too.I have written this project as a promise to myself to not return to such relationships, and offer it as a gift for any woman who seeks the courage to do the same, because I believe that the true violence lies in having our own gut instinct and choosing not to listen to it.