THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS Returns to the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 7/12-15
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, the provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon's point of view, will return to Irvine by popular demand for a limited engagement at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, adjacent to University of California Irvine, from July 12 through July 15. The production sold out five performances at the same venue in July 2011.
The National Tour of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS kicked off after a hit nine-month run at The Westside Theatre in New York City where it entertained 50,000 theatergoers. Prior to that, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS was a sold out hit in Chicago and Washington D. C. where it ran for a combined eight months.
Now in its second smash year, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS' National Tour has delighted capacity audiences in 50 major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Seattle, Dallas and Houston. Over 200,000 have seen this production on tour, which continues to attract a national following.
Associated Press calls THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS "Devilishly funny!" The Chicago Sun-Times hails the production as "Smart, sizzling entertainment!;" The Boston Globe raves that it is "Engrossing and Entertaining!" and The Chicago Tribune says THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is "Very smart...richly rewarding...exuberant theatricality!"
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS creates a topsy-turvy morally inverted universe set in an eerily stylish office in hell, where God is called the "Enemy" and the devil is referred to as "Our Father below."
The play follows His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, Satan's top psychiatrist in his understanding human nature, played by award winning actor Max McLean, and his creature-demon secretary Toadpipe, as they train an apprentice demon, Wormwood, on the fine art of seducing an unsuspecting human "patient" down the "soft, gentle path to hell."
Along with The Chronicles of Narnia (including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), The Great Divorce and Mere Christianity, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is still one of Lewis' most popular and influential works. The book's piercing insight into human nature and the lucid and humorous way Lewis makes his readers squirm in self-recognition made it an immediate success. When first published in 1942 it brought worldwide fame to this little-known Oxford don including the cover of Time Magazine.
The idea for Screwtape first came to Lewis after listening to Hitler's Reichstag Speech on July 19, 1940, while it was simultaneously translated on BBC Radio. Lewis wrote "I don't know if I'm weaker than other people, but it is a positive revelation to me how while the speech lasts it is impossible not to waver just a little… Statements which I know to be untrue all but convince me…if only the man says them unflinchingly."
Lewis dedicated it to his close friend J. R. R. Tolkien who had expressed to Lewis that delving too deeply into the craft of evil would have consequences. Lewis admitted as much when he wrote "Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment . . . though it was easy to twist one's mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The work into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch. Every trace of beauty, freshness, and geniality had to be excluded."
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is produced by New York City based Fellowship for the Performing Arts. Max McLean serves as Artistic Director. Executive Producer and General Manager is Ken Denison of Aruba Productions. Scenic Design is by Cameron Anderson, Costumes by Michael Bevins, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, and Original Music and Sound Design by John Gromada.
The performance schedule for THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is Thursday, July 12 and Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 14 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available in the following price tiers: $62, $52 and $42. There are a limited number of premium seats available for $92 and student seats for $28 (student ID required). For groups of 10 or more (including student groups) call 866.476.8707.