The Sandford Collective performing Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco
It is part of the theatre of the absurd and explores the themes of conformity, culture, philosophy, and morality.
The play revolves around two friends Berenger and Jean. Berenger is an alcoholic and Jean is constantly scolding him about his wasteful habits. During one of these visits a rhinoceros storms past sending the whole village into uproar. Everyone except Berenger...
Berenger confides in his friend that he has become enamoured of the office girl, Daisy, but is concerned that she favours Dudard, a young 'up and coming'.
Another Rhino storms past and kills a cat. The townsfolk debate on whether it was the same Rhino and what breed it was. They then call in Logician to clear up the debate.
In Berenger's office Botard the sceptic argues with the workers suggesting that the rhinos are not real just a vision of collective psychosis. Mrs Boeuf tells the office that her husband is sick and will be off for a few days. Mrs Boeuf is chased by a rhino who she recognises to be her husband whereupon she leaps onto his back and rides off.
Berenger visits his friend Jean who is sick in bed and apologises for their argument. Jean gradually turns into a rhino and storms into the bathroom. Berenger tries to hold the door closed against the marauding rhino but jumps out of the window screaming "Rhino!" whilst a herd of rhinos tear down the street. Berenger sees the Logician's hat on a rhino and swears that he we never turn into a rhino. Daisy visits Berenger and they realise that everyone has turned into rhinoceroses. They decide that they must repopulate the world with humans like Adam and Eve. The sounds of the rhinos become more and more seductive until Daisy submits and turns into a rhino. Berenger locks his door and plugs his ears doubting his own humanity. He inspects photos of his friends and recognises none of them, seeing just rhinos. He envies the beautiful rhino bodies but swears to fight on.
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