Skip to main content

Rhinoceros

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival 
Four stars
“It's an internal matter,” says a spiv-like local official as his town is over-run by rhinoceroses in Zinnie Harris' reimagining of Eugene Ionesco's 1959 absurdist classic. “It'll blow over.” Such are the famous last words of easily corruptible civic mandarins the world over, as laissez-faire small town ways give way to mob rule by noisy grotesques who only travel in packs.

Such a scenario is all too recognisable on our doorsteps in a post Brexit, post Trump age. Imagine, then, how close to home it must be just now in a volatile Turkey, where director Murat Daltaban's DOT Theatre company, who are co-producing the show with the Royal Lyceum, are based.

Things begin playfully enough, with Robert Jack's local intellectual waster Berenger hooking up with Steven McNicoll's pompous clever-clogs Jean in the square. As the town-folk go about their business, it is clear that Berenger is smitten with Ece Dizdar's Papatya, seemingly to no avail. Slapstick prat-falls abound otherwise in a world which initially resembles Monty Python doing Trumpton. When what sounds like a particularly big-footed riot descends on the square, the desire for strength in numbers leaves everyone except Berenger and Papatya, it seems, infected.

Harris' script is peppered with subtle hints of now in Daltaban's increasingly unhinged sprawl through a society's collapse into bully boy barbarism. Pulsed by Oguz Kaplangi's live score, a Scots/Turkish cast capture the full comic gamut of the play's broad satirical brush-strokes. When Berenger utters his determined proclamation not to give in to the new regime despite the world turned upside down behind him, however, it is a defiant cry for our times.
 
The Herald, August 7th 2017
ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug