Review: Shadowlands at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

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Based on the lives of author CS Lewis and American poet Joy Gresham, Shadowlands delves into the uncharted area of their relationship.

What starts as an intellectual attraction via letter correspondence eventually turns into romance, unfolding at just the right pace during the show’s two-and-a-half hours.

Along the way, the play explores existential questions about love, pain and theology and the close connections between the three.

The razor-sharp dialogue is delivered faultlessly by its cast, but it’s Stephen Boxer (Lewis) and Amanda Ryan (Joy) who steal the show.

Their chemistry perfectly captures the chaste nature of their relationship and the strong love that they had for one another.

The costumes and set are quintessentially 1950s’ Oxford, with authentic looking props wheeled around expertly to make full use of the stage’s space.

Under Alastair Whatley’s direction all of these elements come together to form a well-oiled machine that is funny, sincere, and deeply moving.