Shadowlands is a love story, unfolding the unlikely coupling between C.S Lewis and Joy Davidman. Both literary fanatics but from different parts of the globe, sharing their passion for the written world through good old fashioned letters. Joy visits Lewis (otherwise known as Jack) and from that time on a deep friendship flourishes. In time Joy is ditched by her no-good husband and makes the decision to move to England, and from there the story develops.
The theatre was on the quiet side during this monday night performance, but there was still a feeling of anticipation in the air. I can’t claim much knowledge of C.S Lewis, although I am of course familiar with his work such as the magical “The Lion The With and The Wardrobe”. The first few minutes seemed a little old fashioned and stuffy , which left me fantasizing about pub gardens and glasses of Pimms given the incredible sunshine we had been blessed with for the day. I was soon brought back to the present moment by the introduction of Major Lewis (Denis Lill). His mannerisms and comedic timing caught me completely off guard, refreshingly modern and witty. His relationship with his brother Jack (Stephen Boxer) was utterly plausible and irresistibly charming, and despite its traditional nature I found myself grinning. The scenes were mostly fairly short and sweet, with the cast moving set and integrating it into the performance. I was initially skeptical about the relationship between Joy and Jack, but as it slowly unraveled I found myself willing their love to succeed and flourish.
There was something very comforting about the whole production, with the older friendship group reminding me of my late grandpa (particularly with their singing and phrases!). The dry sense of humour and comedic timing was particularly excellent and made for a fun evening from start to finish. The set was of good quality and I liked the way the scenes linked together without stopping. My only criticism is that I had assumed that there was a larger age gap between Joy and Jack, which made their relationship seem a little far fetched initially. Overall I would suggest this play as a pleasurable evening out for any theatre goer, and would be of particular interest for those with passion for historical literature