What do the press say about An Evening with CS Lewis?

Chicago Stage Standard – Review of March/April 2015 run at The Metropolis Theatre:

“Getting to know someone in an hour-and-a-half sounds optimistic. Yet in An Evening with C.S. Lewis, the famous literary figure is presented as if you already know him. The set, primarily the armchair where he sits drinking tea amongst books and globes and clocks, makes you feel like you’re at your grandparents’ house, listening to your grandfather’s stories. And the brilliant portrayal of Lewis comes from a man who doesn’t seem far off from the real thing.”

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South Florida Insider – Review of Kravis Center performance:

“On February 19th, the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center was the perfect location for An Evening with CS Lewis.   A packed, sold out crowd was eager to transcend back to England in 1963 and have a wonderful, intimate viewing of the legendary life of one CS Lewis; played by the extremely talented, David Payne.

For David Payne, it was a complete mastery of his theatrical gifts, but for us there was no acting.  We only saw the genuine representation of CS Lewis or as friends called him; Jack.  Payne’s delivery, subtle movements, expressions and his uncanny ability to speak directly to you and stir you up in your seat kept you riveted and vastly entertained.

This show was not a boring memoir of his life, but the telling was so rich in detail that you lost your bearings and experienced what he experienced. The greatest of which were the complexity of his relationships.

CS Lewis’s life focused on three main relationships, the first being God, who was the centerpiece of his theology and writings. Other close relationships were with his brother Warnie Lewis (or B.P.B. as Lewis called him.   The other focus was with his wife Joy Gresham, who you really felt and sympathized with through the telling by David Payne.  

Payne was like an architect of hilarity with perfect timing on every side-splitting one-liner.

I had such a magnificent time in such a wonderful place and I can’t wait to see what comes next.” 


Limelight – Review of Playhouse at Westport Plaza in St. Louis

“Payne’s work here is unique in that it comes out less like a performance and more like a casual conversation with new friends. He does not demand our acceptance of his portrayal of the great author, he simply reclines in his cozy chair, offers us some tea, and allows us to cogitate on the idea as he muses casually about a remarkable life lived.”