Arena Theatre presents Eugene Ionesco's


Directed by Gareth Richards with permission from

  • Performance Dates
  • There are no scheduled performances of this production.
Linda Kirkman - Bournemouth Evening Echo

Ionesco wrote his play in response to the collusion with the Nazis that he witnessed in occupied France during the Second World War, but there are parallels in today's world, with many often finding it simpler to go along with the majority rather than stand up to their own beliefs. The premise is a good one, but perhaps not ideal play material - unless of course the 'common herd' becomes a herd of rhinoceroses causing chaos and confusion, giving the audience plenty to laugh at whilst they digest the underlying serious theme. Gareth Richards' production dragged a little in the opening scene but soon picked up pace as it went on its ever more bizarre way, with quadrophonic sound making it feel as if that herd might burst in at any moment.  The zenith of this deeply, deeply weird play came, for me, in a scene that beautifully combined both humour and sheer terror as Jean (Peter Beebee) was transformed into an animal in full view of his friend, Berenger (Justin Bikram). Among the rest of the very strong cast I was also particularly impressed by Paul Nelson (Dudard), Kathryn Oscier (Daisy), Tim Wallace-Abbot (Logician) and John King (Old Gentleman).
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