The Screwtape Letters

Adaptations

Audio drama

Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, a project of Focus on the Family, was granted the rights to dramatize The Screwtape Letters as a feature length audio drama. Production began in 2008, and the product was released in the fall of 2009.[7] Andy Serkis, known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, provides the voice for Screwtape, with Bertie Carvel as Wormwood, Philip Bird as The Patient (identified in this production as "John Hamilton"), Laura Michael Kelly as The Girl (identified in this production as "Dorothy"), Roger Hammond as Toadpipe, Christina Greatrex as Slumtrimpet, Janet Henfrey as Glubose, Philip Sherlock as the Messenger, Susie Brann as the Presenter and Geoffrey Palmer as C.S. Lewis. There is a 7-and-a-half minute video preview of the Radio Theatre production with interviews and making-of footage.[8] This production was a 2010 Audie Award finalist.

Comic book adaptation

Marvel Comics and religious book publisher Thomas Nelson produced a comic book adaptation of The Screwtape Letters in 1994.[9]

Film adaptation

The Screwtape Letters is a planned film based on the novel. 20th Century Fox bought the film rights to the book in the 1950s and partnered with Walden Media to make this film just as they were doing with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Walden originally intended to release the film in 2008,[10] however the current release date was set for 2012. Ralph Winter, the producer, credited the success of the Chronicles of Narnia film series for the greenlighting of The Screwtape Letters.[11] The Screwtape Letters is to be a live-action film.[12] Because the novel is a series of letters with limited action, critics have questioned how a film adaptation is possible.[13]

Stage adaptation

The stage play Dear Wormwood (later renamed Screwtape), written by James Forsyth, was published in 1961. The setting is changed to wartime London, where we actually see Wormwood going about the business of tempting his "patient" (in the play, given the name "Michael Green"). The ending is changed as well, with Wormwood trying to repent and beg for forgiveness, when it appears that his mission has failed.

Philadelphia playwright and actor Anthony Lawton's original adaptation of The Screwtape Letters has been staged several times since 2000 by Lantern Theater Company, most recently in May/June 2014. In Lawton's adaptation, each of Screwtape's letters is punctuated by varied dances including tap, Latin ballroom, jazz, martial arts, and rock – and whips and fire-eating. Screwtape performs these dances with his secretary, Toadpipe.

The Fellowship for the Performing Arts obtained from the Lewis estate the rights to adapt The Screwtape Letters for the stage. The initial production opened off-off-Broadway at Theatre 315 in New York City in January 2006. The initial three-week run was extended to eleven and finally closed because the theater was contractually obligated to another production.[14] It was co-written by Max McLean (who also starred) and Jeffrey Fiske (who also directed). A second, expanded production opened off Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clements on 18 October 2007, originally scheduled to run through 6 January 2008. The production re-opened at the Mercury Theater in Chicago in September 2008, and continued on a national tour including San Francisco, Phoenix, Louisville, Chattanooga, Fort Lauderdale, Houston and Austin, through January 2010 as well as playing at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. for ten weeks.[15] The Screwtape Letters played for 309 performances at New York City’s Westside Theatre in 2010. The 2011 tour visited performing arts venues in cities throughout the United States including Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Boston. The 2012-2013 tour began in Los Angeles in January 2012, with return engagements in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta as well as stops in several other cities. The Screwtape Letters has been described as "Humorous and lively...the Devil has rarely been given his due more perceptively!" by The New York Times, "A profound experience" by Christianity Today and "Wickedly witty...One hell of good show!" by The Wall Street Journal.[15]

The Barley Sheaf Players of Lionville, Pennsylvania performed James Forsyth's play Screwtape in September 2010. It was directed by Scott Ryan and the play ran the last 3 weekends in September.[16] The Production was reviewed by Paul Recupero for Stage Magazine.[17]


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