I am lucky in that I have many opportunities to see theatrical performances of all types.
Yesterday I saw Richard 111, one of Literature’s most treacherous villains. It struck me that Shakespeare would have possibly delivered his best and most incisive masterpiece if he had had some of our cases of PA with which to work. The treachery some of us experience is Machiavellian in the extreme.
Act 1 would set the scene with introducing the main players, the nature of attachment, the testing of bonds of love and family and planting the seeds of betrayal.
Act 2 might introduce the lawyers as shrewd Shylocks with a gift of the tongue but the bottom line is always in securing their own pounds of flesh.
For my story, there would be such a goldmine of heartbreaking drama to sculpt with the degree of deceit, duplicity and dis-ingenuity I have seen and that I know many of you have experienced too.
Imagine the asides that could be written into the parts of the haplessly torn and confused Alienated Child. Or the soliloquies of the supremely tortured Target Parent, dripping with the agony of grieving the living death of their own child (a part we know so well). I’d say this would more than compete with anything on which Hamlet had to ruminate.
Imagine the Alienating Parent as a manipulating Iago whispering lies in the ears of those whose trust they hold and becoming concertmasters of the flying monkeys around them. I’m sure Richard 111 would meet his match with some of these litigious conniving APs so what chance did we ever have?
Act 3 could have tragedy or poetic reunification and joy. My 3rd Act isn’t yet written. But the theme would definitely be one of needless suffering, stolen lives and the capacity of some to inflict immeasurable damage borne of selfishness and ignorance on those they betray.
Come back Shakespeare. We alienated parents need our story told.