A close-up of a Rhinoceros' eye with a graphical treatment akin to political protest posters of the 1980s


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 between Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Festival in association with DOT Theatre, Istanbul

'blazing with theatrical energy and wit'
The Scotsman

'an elegant production, as entertaining as it is powerful'
The List

Original image by Christophe Cotichelli

Cast and Credits


Natalie Arle-Toyne Café Proprietor/Mrs Boeuf
John Cobb Old Gentleman
Jessica Hardwick Daisy
Esin Harvey Housewife
Robert Jack Berenger
Oguz Kaplangi Cat/Musician
Myra McFadyen Grocer/Papillon
Steven McNicoll Jean
Sally Reid Grocer’s wife/Botard
Harry Ward The Logician/Dudard


Writer Eugene Ionesco
Adapter Zinnie Harris
Director Murat Daltaban
Designer Tom Piper
Lighting designer Chris Davey
Composer & sound designer Oguz Kaplangi
Literal Translator Deborah Natanson
Casting Director Laura Donnelly CDG


What did the audience think?

A stampede of stars for Rhinoceros

In conversation

Zinnie Harris and director Murat Daltaban talk about Rhinoceros

Dates, Times & Prices

23 March - 7 April 2018

23 March
£10 Preview tickets on sale from 26 February 2018

EVENINGS, 7.30pm
Tuesday - Saturday

MATINEES from 28 March, 2pm
Wednesdays and Saturdays

Running Time
1 hour 40 minutes - please note this performance does not have an interval

For Access performances see below


Individual Tickets

Tuesday - Saturday: £16 - £32

Wednesday and Saturday: £14 - £28

from £10, not available on Premium Seats
For full details on concession pricing please contact Box Office on 0131 248 4848

Unreserved seating, all tickets £10
On sale 26 February

All prices guaranteed until 1 September 2017


Thursday 5 April, 7.30pm
Touch Tour, 6.15pm
Saturday 7 April, 2pm
Touch Tour, 12.45pm

Wednesday 4 April, 7.30pm

Saturday 7 April, 2pm

  • Book Accessible performances here

Read The Lyceum's Access Statement here

Take Part

Tuesday 3 April 2018
Hosted by David Greig and Zinnie Harris, takes place in the Stalls after the evening's performance


  • FREE, no ticket required


Thursday 5 April 2018, 5.30pm
These workshops will explore varied aspects of the production process to show you how we get a performance from the page to The Lyceum's stage. The session includes complimentary tea & coffee.

Friday 6 April, 6.30pm
LYT will be doing a series of short performances in response to the show on the main stage, just before the show.

Saturday 7 April 2018, 10am
Join us for a practical acting workshop where will explore Rhinoceros and work on key scenes with one of our Drama Artists.

  • £12 (£6 for students) / Book Here
    Book for all 6 sessions in Season 2017/18 and save!

Press Coverage

'blazing with theatrical energy and wit'
The Scotsman

'an elegant production, as entertaining as it is powerful'
The List

'an exposé of human behaviour, conformity and communication...a fantastic night at the theatre'
Edinburgh Guide

'a remarkable achievement...as hilarious as it is desperate, and as urgent as it is compelling'
The Arts Desk

'Fascinating and wildly stylish'
The Times

'a defiant cry for our times'
The Herald

'grab a reluctant theatre-goer and head along to the Royal Lyceum tonight... you’ll be changing hearts and minds'
Bouquets and Brickbats

'combining knockabout comedy with a deep consideration of human society'
All Edinburgh Theatre

'A must see production'

'A phenomenal combination of cast, crew, sound, visuals, and timeliness'
Edinburgh 49

'blisteringly funny and imaginatively staged'

'a rallying cry for resistance and engagement and compassion'
Reviews Hub


Rehearsal photos:

Production photos: