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With work, getting our daughter to school, and extracurricular activities, one-on-one time can be hard to come by for my husband and me. However, when we do get some free time without our daughter, we make sure we get out and enjoy ourselves. This time around we used our free time to venture into the city to see Lewis & Tolkien of Wardrobes and Rings written by David Payne at the Sheen Center Black Box Theater. The intimate environment of the Black Box theater set the ambiance for the intimate insight into the friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Sheen Center Black box theater

The two-act play is set in the year 1963 at Oxford’s historic Eagle and Child Pub. There, takes place dialogue between two friends who just so happened to be some of literature’s most coveted writers: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. After nine months of not seeing each other, this meeting between friends unknowingly would be their last, as C.S. Lewis (“Jack”) died shortly after.

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien
Photo Credit: Lewis & Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien (“Tollers”) invited his friend Jack out for lunch after not seeing him for a while. They caught up on their personal lives and hashed out issues that caused rifts in their friendship, like Jack marrying a divorcee. As a staunch Catholic, Tollers did not agree with that act and did not accept Jacks’ wife. And Tollers held a grudge against Jack when Jack rejected Tollers’ comparison of himself to St. John by stating “I couldn’t think of two men more dissimilar!” In the play, both Tollers and Jack reconciled, but I’ve since learned that that may not have been the case. However, when C.S. Lewis passed away, J.R.R. Tolkien stated that losing his friend was “…an axe-blow to the roots of friendship”.

Lewis & Tolkien of Wardrobes and Rings
Photo Credit: Lewis & Tolkien

Without giving away too much about the play, I can let you in on one valuable lesson I learned about friendships. When it comes to true friends, no matter how much time passes when you eventually get back together it is as though no time has passed at all. You never miss a beat. That is exactly what we witnessed during the dialogue between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien.


Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were the originators of the fantasy genre? I didn’t!

If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s work you should check out Lewis & Tolkien of Wardrobes and Rings. It will continue its New York run until June 14, 2018. You can check for showtimes and tickets, and other tour dates and locations.

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Complimentary tickets were provided to facilitate review. All opinions are my own and are honest.