Everything you need to know about The Night of the Iguana

By | Posted on 06-Feb-2019

Everything you need to know about The Night of the Iguana

The Night of the Iguana is now closed. Why not read about shows opening in 2020 here?

Last staged in the West End in 2005, The Night of the Iguana returns to London this summer and will play at the Noel Coward Theatre. Directed by James Macdonald and with a star-studded cast set to appear in the production, find out more about the show here.

All you need to know about The Night of the Iguana

Who is it written by?

The Night of the Iguana is written by Tennessee Williams, hailed as a leading twentieth-century American playwright. With a catalogue of plays including A Streetcar Named DesireCat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie, Williams’ plays often centre around a protagonist looking to overcome their demons, with Williams’ The Night of the Iguana seeing a reverend try to turn his life around. Find out more about the life of Tennessee Williams here.

What’s the synopsis?

Set in 1940s Mexico, audiences meet Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon, an ex-clergyman who has been expelled from his church in the United States. He becomes a tour guide in Mexico, dealing with a variety of guests who each have different opinions, thoughts and personalities leaving the reverend to contend with their ideas. As larger-than-life personalities clash with each other, the reverend and his party have to come together in order to protect one another from the developing storm outside.

Previous West End productions?

In 1992, The Night of the Iguana was staged at the National Theatre. Directed by Richard Eyre, the cast included Alfred Molina as the Reverend, with Eileen Atkins playing the role of Hannah.

More recently, Tenenssee Williams’ play was performed at the Lyric Theatre in 2005. Directed by Anthony Page, the cast included Woody Harrelson as the Reverend, Jenny Seagrove as Hannah and Clare Higgins as Maxine.

Who will star in The Night of the Iguana?

Clive Owen played the role of Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon in The Night of the Iguana. Owen has performed in the 2004 production of Closer at the National Theatre, later starring in the film adaptation a year later that saw him win 12 awards. Recent stage credits include M. Butterfly in 2017 and Old Times in 2015, with both productions taking place in America.

Anna Gunn madeher West End debut in this production. Best known for her award-winning performance as Skyler White in Breaking Bad, Gunn’s stage credits include The Rehearsal and Sex with Strangers, with the latter directed by David Schwimmer.

Lia Williams joined the cast of The Night of the Iguana, with an illustrious list of theatre credits including Absurd Person Singular and The Homecoming by Harold Pinter. In 1993, Williams played  Carol in the West End premiere of Oleanna by David Mamet opposite David Suchet.

Oliver Award-winning actor Julian Glover starred in the production, best known for his performance as Henry IV in the 1992 RSC production of the same name.

The cast was completed by Alasdair Baker, Timothy Blore, Emma Canning, Karin Carlson, Madeleine Day, Ian Drysdale, Mufrida Hayes, Andrew McDonald, Manuel Pacific, Faz Singhateh, Finty Williams, Penelope Woodman and David Young.

What did critics say about The Night of the Iguana?

“It is simmeringly powerful in its execution, and stunningly realised, with Rae Smith’s sets and costumes, lit by Neil Austin, providing a supremely atmospheric location. As life’s misfits find consolation and comfort in each other, I was truly moved.”
Mark Shenton