By Norm Miller, LC News
PINEVILLE – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and Lord of the Rings are classic literary works that have captured the imagination and spurred the intellects of millions.
Louisiana College is pleased to bring the best-selling authors of those works, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, to Pineville on February 24 as portrayed by British actors David Payne and Gordon Tett.
“David Payne represented the heart and mind of C.S. Lewis with more than theatrical realism,” said Louisiana College President Dr. Rick Brewer. “His emotive portrayal of Lewis held the audience’s attention. Many of them expressed their appreciation to us for offering such a top-flight event.”
Brewer expects the addition of Tolkien “will not only double the entertainment and instructional value, I think these will increase exponentially.”
At 2 p.m., the doors to LC’s Martin Performing Arts Center open, where $10 general admission tickets go on sale. Tickets may be purchased online at www.lacollege.edu/give. Tickets for high school students are half-price: one $10 ticket admits two high school students, or pay $5 each at the door.
The play “Of Wardrobes and Rings” starts at 3 p.m.
Payne presented a dramatic monologue at LC a year ago as C.S. Lewis and was well-received by the community. Both Lewis and Tolkien were distinguished faculty members at Oxford University and participants in a literary group known as The Inklings. Their robust philosophical discourse served an uncommon friendship that was not without its differences. Life’s circumstances and sometimes unresolved disagreements forced an uncomfortable season of estrangement.
In “Of Wardrobes and Rings,” Lewis and Tolkien meet for one last visit tempered by thawing humor, confession, and reconciliation. Both Payne and Tett are reviewed as superb in their roles as the literary giants. Payne gives a performance closer to surviving voice recordings from his real-life counterpart, but Tett is the more egocentric and irascible Tolkien. They give a good impression of the initial frostiness between estranged friends, but their affection for each other also comes across powerfully, and by the end there is likely to be a lump in your throat.