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22873RE: [mythsoc] Screwtape on stage

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  • Kathleen Lamantia
    Jan 22, 2012
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      Yes, I mentioned it.

      I saw it in New York in August of 2010.  It has been so successful there that it has moved to a larger venue.

      I was trepidatious when I heard about it, wondering how one would transfer this to the stage.

      I thought the conventions used were very creative and worked well.

      My companion, who had never read the book, was not as enthusiastic about it as I was.  I think that if you have read it, the performance is quite powerful because you are mentally filling in all that can not be conveyed in 90 minutes.

      I do recommend it.


      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      From: linda@...
      Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 17:46:45 -0500
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Screwtape on stage

      I saw this show  -finally, in June 2011.  It had been on my list of things I really want to do since I first heard about it being performed in New York a few years ago.  (Did a member of this group mention it?) I kept track of this show for a couple of years and, when a group for it appeared on Facebook, I kept sending messages :Come to Atlanta!"    At last in June they did come.  A wonderful evening!

      My adult daughter and her friend went with me.  Their knowledge of Lewis' work is largely confined to the NARNIA books.  My daughter borrowed the book SCREWTAPE and tried to read it- but she was analyzing every word and didn't get too far.  I told her her the easiest way for a first read was probably the way I came upon the book. when I was around fourteen or fifteen, our minister was talking about his book one Sunday night and I thought it sounded like fun.  So I read it for fun, laughing at the parts that struck me and interested in the rest. Ready to recommend it to any friend.

      Of course,  as an adult, I have discovered the deeper parts which speak to me and point out my own faults and failings which need amendment.  I hope my daughter and her friend may also come to this point.

      I do recommend this play to all and,  if -no, when,  the show returns to Atlanta, I will surely go again.

      Linda DeMars
      On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 5:17 PM, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
      Saturday, I attended a performance of a stage adaptation of The Screwtape
      Letters, in San Francisco very briefly on tour. This condensed the book into
      a 90-minute show by selecting key sentences out of the letters and from
      "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", the latter of which was presented as prologue.
      After which, Screwtape retires to his study to dictate his successive
      letters addressed to the unfortunate junior tempter Wormwood. Though the
      moment when Screwtape transforms himself into a centipede is omitted,
      because the adapters couldn't figure out how to present it onstage,
      Screwtape's secretary Toadpipe, who completes that letter for him, is
      present in a form like unto a cross between Peter Jackson's Gollum and the
      Creature from the Black Lagoon, scribbling on paper and sending the letters
      up from hell in an industrial-revolution-style pneumatic tube, gesticulating
      and making various Serkis-like cat-barfing noises in response to Screwtape's
      observations, and miming assorted human characters as Screwtape describes

      Screwtape himself, suave in a smoking jacket, is played by Max McLean (best
      known as an audio narrator of Christian books) in the vocal style of a
      slightly tipsy schoolmaster, more pedagogically crafty than sinisterly
      demonic, but less pedantic than John Cleese's reading of the book, with
      highly inflected mannerisms designed to deliver the oomph behind Lewis's
      satire. His voice was amplified with a body mike, and various amplified
      sound effects punctuate the production, particularly during Screwtape's
      paean to noise and cacophony. For a moment there it was a little too close
      to hell for me.

      The tour is going around the U.S. to various cities, and a list of upcoming
      shows is at www.screwtapeonstage.com.

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