Simon Russell Beale is reading C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters in six parts as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4.
This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death, and a memorial stone to the author is due to be unveiled in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Book of the Week marks the occasion with a reading of his famous letters from a senior to a junior devil.
This November marks C.S. Lewis 115th and 50th anniversaries, his birth on November 29, 1898 and his death on November 22, 1963.
I first saw Simon Russell Beale in 1993 on stage at the Swan in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall and the stage revival of Cabaret with Alan Cummings). In January 2014 he will play the title role in King Lear at the National Theatre in London, directed again by Sam Mendes. As a 2003 New York Times article put it, "The Greatest Actor Americans Have Hardly Seen." Beale's virtually unknown in the U.S., but he may well be the greatest British stage actor of his generation.
Photo: C.S. Lewis