The Award Winning Play
by William Nicholson
William Nicholson’s highly acclaimed stage adaptation of his 1985 television play won the
Evening Standard Award for Best Play of 1990. The play premiered in London in 1990 with
Nigel Hawthorne and Jane Lapotaire. In 1993 William Nicholson wrote the screenplay for
Richard Attenborough’s film which starred Anthony Hopkins and Debrah Winger.
The play traces the relatively brief relationship between shy Oxford don and children’s
author C.S. Lewis and the poet Joy Davidman until her untimely death from cancer in the
1950’s.
Set in the male enclave of academic Oxford their relationship starts as an exchange of literary
correspondence. From tentative, timid beginnings their friendship develops into a deep
abiding love which becomes brutally heightened by Joy’s terminal illness. Lewis is forced to
recognize the spiritual value of suffering, reconciling his pain at losing Joy with his fervent
belief in the beneficence of God.
From a seemingly sombre subject William Nicholson has fashioned a play which is
humourous, unsentimental and yet ultimately optimistic and moving in the extreme
Nicholson leads us to explore our own reactions to grief and to examine our emotional
responses.
We are sure that we can provide you with a thought provoking yet enjoyable evening. The
play promises to be a popular one and we strongly advise that you book early and lay in a
good supply of tissues !