wicktheatre > Archive > Performances > Shadowlands


The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre

October 4, 5, 6, 7 2023


by William Nicholson

Directed by Susanne Crosby

2023 BHAC Full Length Drama Competition
– Best Supporting Actor : Mike Wells for Major W. H. Lewis
– Best Lighting Design : Martin Oakley and Susanne Crosby
– Best Publicity : Susanne Crosby and Judith Berrill
– Best Technical : for projection design – Susanne Crosby, Julian Batstone, Phil Nair-Brown

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“based on a true story”
– Susanne Crosby –


C S Lewis – JackBob Ryder

Joy Greasham, née DavidmanNicola Russell

Major W. H. Lewis (“Warnie”)Mike Wells

DouglasZac Emerson

Professor Christopher RileyJames Doyle

Rev, “Harry” Harrington Julian Batstone

Dr. Alan Gregg / Dr. Oakley / Priest / Registrar’s Clerk Peter Joyce

Nurse / Registrar / Customer / Waitress Lauren Brakes

Doctor Sam Razavi

Production Crew

DirectorSusanne Crosby

ProducerJulian Batstone

Stage ManagerGuy Steddon

Deputy Stage ManagerPeter Dilloway

Lighting DesignMartin Oakley

Lighting DesignSusanne Crosby

Lighting Operation Martin Oakley

Lighting OperationTorrin Gieler

Lighting OperationDan Dryer

Projection DesignSusanne Crosby

Projection DesignJulian Batstone

Projection DesignPhil Nair-Brown

Sound DesignSusanne Crosby

Sound DesignBob Ryder

Sound OperationJeff Woodford

Costume Design and WardrobeMaggi Pierce

Costume Design and WardrobeCherry Fraser

PropertiesDi Tidzer

PropertiesLauren Brakes

Specialist PropertiesMartin Oakley

Specialist PropertiesJudith Berrill

Set Design, Construction and PaintingSue Chaplin

Set Design, Construction and PaintingDave Comber

Set Design, Construction and PaintingNigel Goldfinch

Set Design, Construction and PaintingMike King

Set Design, Construction and PaintingSue Netley

Set Design, Construction and PaintingGary Walker

Programme Cover, Flyer ArtJudith Berrill

Publicity and ProgrammeSusanne Crosby

Programme Note #1: Shadowlands
SC writes: “Welcome! I fell in love with this play the first time I read it: and the fact that it’s based on a poignant true story made it all the more special.

C.S.Lewis is beloved by many for his creation of the stories and the world of Narnia. He was also a man known for his profound faith, as well as his intelligence and talks. Oxford don, traditional, happily stuck in his ways. Then American Poet Joy Gresham and her young son came into his life and almost literally blew out the cobwebs.

I’m so proud of my incredible cast. Their focus on creating fully rounded characters and all the research they each have done on all the real people the characters are based on has breathed such relevance and life into this story.

My thanks go also to the amazing backstage crew who help ensure that all the cogs in this massive wheeel are in place. The biggest hugest thank you to my production mananger Julian Batstone who has been absolutely vital and totally brilliant.

We have maintained authrnticity as much as possible, including all the projections of Oxford, including Joy’s actual house. The exteriros and interiors of Jack’s house: “The Kilns” in Headington, Oxford, are also real.

I found William Nicholson’s play not only beautifully Written but also extremely important. It spoke to me about it never being too late to transform your life, to change, to embrace something new, to live.

I also love that it has some vital things to say about faith: that it’s human to doubt sometimes, that faith – whatever your faith, even if it’s in the magical world of a book, can hold you up and suppport you. And that love is always, always, worth it.

“How about Narnia? Ever ben there?”

C S Lewis, known as Jack, grew up in Ireland fascinated by Irish and Norse mythology. He wrote over 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages. “The Chronicles of Narnia” have been the most popular, selling millions of copies worldwide.

He also wrote extensively on Christianity, having converted as an adult following extensive discussions with friends including J. R. R. Tolkein, whose close friendship would inspire both writers: Jack in faith, Tolkein to finish writing Lord of the Rings due to Jack’s eagrness to read it.

All the facts in this play are true. Jack and Warnie shared their house and were the closest of friends as well as brothers, Jack did nickname the Oxford History of English Literature “oh hell”, Joy Davidman was an inspiration and – well, watch the play and find out!”