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David Porter » Reviews » The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters

Saltmine Theatre Company at the Playhouse, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 23 June 2004

The Screwtape Letters

The power of love, the love of God, is the heart of this very triumphant Christian message through pure theatre.

CS Lewis was one of the most powerful Christian voices writing in the 20th century. The letters – epistolary – between  experienced devil Screwtape and his novices Wormwood and Flubgob are classics of popular theology.

They have been assigned to secure the damnation of a new young Christian. To portray this dialogue as a piece of gripping theatre is a challenge well met by Saltmine Theatre Company on its 18th anniversary tour.

A mainly Christian audience responded warmly to a wake up call on the human weaknesses of us all laid bare and to the humour that laced the entire piece.

An inability to pronounce Christian “hell and damnation, customer care department” and “it doesn’t matter what distracts men, even football will do”, were all highly apt.

We see the battle through the eyes of the devils, from whispering in ears, to suggestions and seductions, from a war ops room to a church, a doomed journey by evil.

In the end, the echoing horror of the last scenes as a broken Screwtape lamely convinces himself that one day the enemy (God) will not win was ringing in my ears. The victory over death and darkness by Christ is absolute.

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