C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (1942)
The book has been made into a play at least three times (a film version is also reportedly in the works), with the latest example being a 90-minute, essentially one-man adaptation by Jeffrey Fiske, who directed, and Max McLean, who starred in the title role. After a long run at the Lansburgh Theater in 2008, it has returned there for a brief engagement this month, again presented by the Fellowship for the Performing Arts. Those thinking about buying tickets should be aware that the presenting organization at one point described its mission statement thus: "FPA exists to glorify God by presenting the Bible through the performing arts in the marketplace of ideas." If you would resent being proselytized in the theater, this production is not for you. If not, and especially if you enjoyed the book, you would likely be entertained by Max McLean's incarnation of Screwtape, half executive polish and half infernal cruelty, as he dictates his letters to his assistant, Toadpipe, played as a worm-like creature by Beckley Andrews (costumes designed by Michael Bevins).
Jane Horwitz, A riveting, charming adaptation of ‘The Screwtape Letters’ (Washington Post, December 24)
Wilborn Hampton, Lewis’s Tempters, Meticulously Paving the Road to Hell (New York Times, June 12, 2010)
Celia Wren, 'Screwtape' Gives The Devil His Due (Washington Post, April 24, 2008)
This production continues at the Lansburgh Theater, through January 6.