An acclaimed theatrical adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” has been bringing the spirit of Screwtape, the sardonic fictional demon of Lewis’ invention, to theaters across the country.
Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” purports to be a collection of correspondence between the senior devil Screwtape and Wormwood, his novice understudy in the arts of temptation and damnation. Screwtape advises his trainee how to best prevent God from saving the soul of a modern man.
In the introduction to his book, Lewis criticizes two “equal and opposite errors” mankind has concerning devils. The first is to disbelieve in their existence, while the second believes, and feels “an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”
“They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar,” Lewis adds. “Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true, even from his own angle. There is wishful thinking in hell as well as on earth.”
The theatrical adaptation was created by Jeffrey Fiske and Max McLean. Fiske directs the performance, while McLean plays Screwtape, referred to as “His Abysmal Sublimity.”
Karen Eleanor Wight plays Toadpipe, Screwtape’s personal secretary.
According to an announcement from the C.S. Lewis Society of California, the play was “critically acclaimed” in New York and enjoyed a standing room only audience at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.
The Chicago Tribune called it “the most successful show in the history of the Chicago Mercury Theater.”
An upcoming performance of the play is scheduled for the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California on October 2 and 3.
According to the C.S. Lewis Society of California, the October 3 performance will include a special post-show program with Fiske and McLean.
A video of a performances from Fiske and McLean’s adaptation is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdBNimP7eaw.