by Eugene Ionesco
in a new version by Zinnie Harris
"I suppose it goes to show that these days you never know what might run up your street."
In a sleepy French provincial town, a rhinoceros rampages across the market square. Another crushes someone’s cat.
A woman sounds the alarm: it is the townspeople themselves who are transforming into these raging beasts. As more and more of the citizens embrace their future as rhinos, just one man – the drunkard Berenger – refuses to transform. But why does he feel so out of step with everyone else? And what will his refusal to conform cost him?
Eugène Ionesco’s classic 1959 play is an uproarious absurdist farce – and a chilling examination of conformism, nationalism, fascism and fundamentalism that has been compared with Orwell’s Animal Farm and Camus’s The Plague. It considers the countless ways in which humans are content to adapt themselves to new and horrifying circumstances, and give in to poisonous ideologies.
Alongside its piercing political insights, it is comic, thrillingly theatrical and deeply human, focusing on the unlikely hero of the everyman Berenger, and the possibility of resistance to what might seem inevitable.
This production is presented in a new version by leading Scottish playwright, Zinnie Harris, directed by the celebrated founder of Istanbul’s DOT Theatre, Murat Daltaban.
A co-production with Edinburgh International Festival in association with DOT Theatre Istanbul.