Learning about faith from the Devil

C.S. Lewis’ famous Screwtape Letters hits the stage again

“It is funny, how mortals picture us as putting things into their mind,” says Screwtape, a senior demon in C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, “when in reality, our work is done by keeping things out.”

A second season of The Screwtape Letters returns to theatres up and down the east coast of Australia in November and December, after the first season sold out quickly at the end of 2015.

In the classic book, senior demon Screwtape writes letters to his young nephew Wormwood, who is tasked with tempting a human – The Patient – and securing his soul for damnation by the end of his life.

Screwtape’s letters guide the young tempter in how to lead someone away from God and towards the Devil.

“Screwtape is pure evil,” says Yannick Lawry, who plays the demon in the production.

Hailey McQueen adapted the script from the popular book, and directed the production. She says, “It really does cut through, and really makes you examine what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”

Originally published in 1942, The Screwtape Letters quickly became one of Lewis’ most popular works. In 1947, Lewis appeared on the cover of Time Magazine with a devil on his shoulder.

“Despite decades of expounding the same themes in lectures, radio addresses, sermons, and theological treatises, Lewis was never livelier than when he wrote of demons. No matter how many other ways he tried to write of faith, we still like hearing from the Devil best,” writes the Seymour Centre, one of the locations where the play will be performed.

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