The Night of the Iguana



  • A play by Tennessee Williams that was first performedin 1961 on Broadway at the Royale Theatre, winning the New York DramaCritics' circle Award. The critic Brooks Atkinson wrote thatthe cast, headed by Margaret Leighton, Bette Davis, and Alan Webb,"acted with an eerie sense of foreboding". Leighton receiveda Tony Award, variety Award, and Newspaper Guild Page One Award forher performance. The play opened in London in 1965 at the AshcroftTheatre, Croydon, with Sian Phillips, before transferring to the WestEnd.

    The story, set in Mexico in 1940, involves the widow MaxineFaulk, who runs the Costa Verde, a small hilltop hotel surroundedby jungle. Nearby are a family of Germans who cheer at Nazi broadcastsclaiming victory in the Battle of Britain. One day, a busload of Baptistwomen teachers arrives, guided by the Revd Shannon, a former ministerwho has seduced one of his younger charges. Shannon is sufferingfrom a fever and is close to a breakdown, so Maxine asks him to stayon and manage the hotel. However, Shannon's attention is divertedby the arrival of Hannah Jelkes, a painter, and her 97-year-old grandfather,Jonathan Coffin, known as Nonno the Poet. Maxine, seeing that Hannahand Shannon are attracted to each other, becomes jealous. Shannoncannot decide whether to move in with Maxine, move on with Hannah,or go back to the Church; eventually he decides to stay, mainly becausehe lacks the energy to do anything else. Nonno finishes his last poemand dies, leaving Hannah alone.