The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams; a Next Stage Theatre Company production, directed by Ann Ellison at The Mission Theatre, Tuesday 19th June – Saturday 23rd June at 7.30pm with matinee Saturday 23rd June at 2pm.
Down in the forest something stirred, except that it didn’t just stir, it raged, the Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon that is. And he rages against life, the world plus more or less everything that comes his way. Richard Matthews makes a brilliant job of portraying the preacher, locked out of his church for, “Fornication and heresy, in the same week,” he proudly explains.
Now he’s reduced to tour guide for ladies’ group’s, this time to a dodgy hotel in the rainforest outside Acapulco.
Kay Francksen portrays blowsy proprietress Maxine to perfection, “You’re bigger than life and twice as unnatural,” Shannon tells her as he turns up, trying to escape from his ladies and the underage girl he’s seduced.
Into this mix comes apparent innocent, Hannah Jelks and her grandfather, she a painter and him a poet. “You’re a hustler like me,” says Shannon, working her schemes out. Vanessa Bishop plays the damaged innocent well as she tries to repair the even more damaged cleric.
There’s a clever set for this over the top saga, full of jungle greenery and hotel doors.
Tennessee Williams doesn’t do subtle and this version doesn’t either. It’s a full tilt melodrama as the author intended, so If you want constant action, a play to pin yours ears back and demand your attention, head down to The Mission.