What you see is what you get from director/actor

Juliet Ibberson, Caroline Cooper, David Reid,  Alexandra Rafter
Juliet Ibberson, Caroline Cooper, David Reid, Alexandra Rafter
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Night of the Iguana, The Lantern Theatre

An excellent Dilys Guite Players cast brings Tennessee Williams’ cerebral drama to life.

Much like the unfortunate, shackled, titular Mexican reptile, we all eventually reach the end of our rope.

Reverend Shannon’s journey down the lanyard is particularly flamboyant, perhaps even ostentatious. David Reid is in fine form as a lapsed holy man who jumps from the frying pan of a church sex scandal to the fire of an underage encounter with a girl on his tour bus.

Shannon seeks some sort of redemption through Hannah, an itinerant artist who travels with her aging grandfather poet, Nonno.

Alexandra Rafter puts in a well- crafted performance as Hannah, a non-judgemental observer of Shannon’s self- indulgent histrionics. Her experience in dodging the “blue devil” helps Shannon with his “spooks”.

Frank Abel has an often surreal cameo as Nonno. He sporadically interrupts intense philosophical sparring between Shannon and Hannah with a beautiful poem.

Caroline Cooper does a great job of drawing good performances from the actors as director and also playing a big part as Maxine, the hotel owner. Maxine is a larger than life character. What you see is what you get and her pursuit of Shannon is non too subtle.

Williams chooses the character of Hannah to deliver most of his words of wisdom. Drink, sex and religion aren’t the problem. Lack of belief is the problem. We can endure anything that arises outside of ourselves when we believe in the strength within.