Although written and performed in 1959, Rhinoceros is a piece resulting from traumatic experiences of Europe sinking into fascism in the thirties of the last century. Writing about his isolation in Romania in those years, Ionesco says: - Return to France, this is my only goal, desperate ... I am alone, all alone, surrounded by these people who are hard as stone to me, as dangerous as snakes, as implacable as tigers. How can one communicate with a tiger, with a cobra, how can one get a wolf or a rhinoceros to understand you, to spare you; what language can you talk to them in? . . . In fact, since I am something like the last man in this monstrous island, I no longer represent anything. I am only an anomaly, a monster.
Nightmare of endured war reality becomes the backbone of this play in which a mysterious infection slowly turns people into rhinoceros. Metamorphosis connecting totalitarian linguistic discourse and primal human animalism becomes thus a powerful image of lost humanity in the invading tide of madness and as such a welcome theatre vaccine against all forms of collective contagions.
Premiere: April 7, 2017