CHRISTMAS WITH C.S. LEWIS
In the early years of his young adult life C S Lewis believed the story of Christ’s birth was nothing more than feel-good myth. That all changed after a particular encounter with his great friend and fellow author, J R R Tolkien. Although both men loved mythology in general, Tolkien was convinced that the Jesus myth was the one true myth. That was the start of Lewis’ journey from Atheism to Christianity. From that point on Christmas, for Lewis, took on an entirely different meaning.
During rehearsals for Shadowlands Payne was given a copy of A Grief Observed, Lewis’ diary of grief following the death of his wife, Joy. Captivated by the brutal honesty of a man bearing his soul, Payne memorized the book and adapted it into a one-man show, Mist in the Mourning. Premiered at TPAC, where all three performances sold out, he then toured this production extensively throughout the US. Following these performances, Payne was very often peppered with lots of questions about Lewis. He was always very happy to answer these questions and then one day, a thought struck him: “Wouldn’t it be fun if Lewis himself could answer these questions?” That’ s when he wrote An Evening with C.S. Lewis, basing the show around the questions that people kept asking and the pivotal occurrences in Lewis’ life. Now it has become his flagship production with over 800 performances.