Wilderness is a play about parental alienation written by Kellie Smith whose experience in writing for performance is extensive and impressive. Next month in London, the Hampstead Theatre in London will host a production of Wilderness bringing the issue of parental alienation to the London stage.
I consulted with Kellie as she began the process of writing the play and an article that I wrote about parental alienation will be used as part of the information for the audience.
To see the issue brought to life and right into mainstream consciousness is a real turning point moment because it means that not only is awareness growing about how children of divorce and separation can suffer, the label parental alienation, so long laughed at or ignored by family services in the UK, is entering popular discourse.
I began doing this work many years ago when the words parental alienation made some roll their eyes and others stop listening. Now it seems that everyone, everywhere wants to talk about it. From radio programmes (news of one Nick and I contributed to coming up soon), to TV (more news on that too soon) and now to the London stage, parental alienation is here, it is real and it is demanding our attention.
To those who have suffered over the decades from the public disregard and shaming I say the time is here when the injustice of being rejected by your child and then blamed and shamed for it is over. Your story is being told and finally the world is listening.
To those who have ignored it and to those who are still doing their very best to pretend that parental alienation is ‘junk science’ I say, best get your act together fast because the music is going to stop soon and the blame parcel is surely going to end up in your hands.
To those who see parental alienation as the latest way of making a quick buck from vulnerable parents and those who think that they can shoehorn parental alienation into their own existing model of therapy and call it successful I say, not on my watch you won’t.
Because the time has come to clear up the clutter and protect the parents and children who have suffered too long at hands of injustice and ignorance and blame. Like all other hidden abuse scandals this one is finally seeing the light of day and I am determined that in doing so, the voices of generations of devastated families will be heard.
When I take my seat on the opening night of the Wilderness, I will give thanks to Kellie Smith for the humanity which has motivated her to write a play which illuminates the suffering of so many families around the world. I will give thanks too to the Hampstead Theatre for their staging of this hugely important play. And I will give thanks for those who have worked around the world to ensure that the forces ranged against allowing this issue to come to the awareness of others, have been beaten.
Families affected by parental alienation, the time has come to take the stage.
Wilderness by Kellie Smith is at the Hampstead Theatre in London 21 March to 27 April