The following article has been updated. Please note the change of venue for the event.
Erskine College will host “An Evening with C.S. Lewis” Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Lesesne Auditorium on the Erskine campus. Tickets are available at www.erskine.edu/eveningwithcslewis.
Set in 1963, this one-man show portrays famed author, scholar, and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis near the end of his life at his home in Oxford, England. Lewis, played by British actor David Payne, speaks to guests about his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien; explains why he nearly abandoned the Narnia books; expounds on how he came to embrace Christianity; and talks about the American woman who turned his life upside down.
Among Lewis’s writings, The Chronicles of Narnia, a seven-book fantasy series for children, may be the most widely known. Other familiar titles include Mere Christianity, the memoir Surprised by Joy, and The Screwtape Letters, in addition to such academic works as The Allegory of Love and A Preface to Paradise Lost. A Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he served from 1925 to 1954, he was awarded the chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University in 1954. He died in 1963.
David Payne has played the role of C.S. Lewis more than 1,000 times. His acting career began at the age of 55, after he responded to an audition notice which included the phrase “British accents a help.” Payne had never been on stage before, but he did have a British accent. Much to his surprise, he was given the lead role, playing C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands at Nashville’s Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Read more about Payne at birdandbabyproductions.com— the website of the company he founded.
“An Evening with C.S. Lewis” is a theatrical experience which has led many thousands to discover—or rediscover—the continuing impact of one of the literary giants of the 20th century.
Founded more than 180 years ago, Erskine College, in Due West, South Carolina, offers both undergraduate liberal arts and graduate theological education. Erskine exists to glorify God as a Christian academic community where students are equipped to flourish as whole persons for lives of service. The Erskine College-Due West Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.