I had the profound pleasure of recently attending a dramatic performance of C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters”. I went with a group from my church, and the play was presented by the Fellowship for the Performing Arts. To say the performance was memorable, would be an understatement.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, Screwtape has a recently graduated nephew, wormwood, who has a brand new “patient” to tempt and twist. Screwtape tries to help wormwood in writing various letters about how human souls may be properly tempted. In a witty, sarcastic, and delusional presentation, Screwtape offers us a fascinating look at the Art of Temptation from a unique perspective.
While C.S. Lewis’ book is excellent, watching a live performance of the novel brought a new light to just how marvelous the work is. There is only a certain amount of emotion my imagination can bring forth, so experiencing the work through sight and sound was like seeing the story for the first time!
While it is a 90 minute monologue, we are given breaks by Screwtape’s grossly repulsive secretary- Toadstool. This lower demon mimes many descriptions Screwtape gives his nephew. It provides a nice visual break from screwtape’s ravings, and also gives a bit of comedic relief.
In the end, you definitely should check out any performance of this play if it is near you. It packs all the convicting thoughts of the original book, and brings it to new life with a compelling narrative. You’ll never think about temptation the same way again.