Award-winning playwright Lemn Sissay delves into the world of orphaned, fostered and adopted children of fictional characters to see why a fear still exists in the real world regarding one’s past in his parentless children speech.
Various famous characters in pop culture, Sissay begins, are parentless—Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Batman, Jane Eyre and Moses. Some of these characters have spawned multiple sequels where their past has become an influential and motivational part of their story, yet reality seems to think otherwise when people shy away from sharing their own personal experiences.
Like their past is their kryptonite, people feel that their abandoned history can somehow weaken their current standing. As someone who was once child of the state, Sissay shares his tragic story of how he was sent away from and by his family to live in a child residence where he was treated with the utmost disrespect. Inspired by his own past, the writer stresses that everyone has the right to own and relive their own childhood and that the once children of the state don’t deserve the people’s pity but their respect.