Rhinoceros (2007) Theater


Everyone around him is transforming – only Benedict as the main character and outsider Berenger stays as he is.

Rhinoceros enjoyed its run at the Royal Court Theatre from 21 September to 16 December 2007 in repertoire with The Arsonists (Benedict Cumberbatch played the part of Eisenring). In this classic piece of the theater of the absurd the main protagonist Berenger is being portrayed by Benedict.

The production can be viewed by the public at the National Video Archive of Performance after booking an appointment.

What is Rhinocéros about?:
Written by Eugene Ionesco in 1957, the piece describes the transformation of the inhabitants of a fictional town in the French province in rhinos. The mass metamorphosis is only noticed by very few people in its full extent, but captures in the end the whole town up with the exception of the main character, the outsider Berenger.


The script in english translation by Martin Crimp can be ordered on: Amazon

More information:
Photos/ Royal Court Official Site/ Rhinoceros – Education Pack/ Interviews and Rehearsal

A clip from Rhinoceros:


“Benedict Cumberbatch is marvellous in the lead. Cooke is a great actors’ director and he releases something in Cumberbatch we have not seen before.”The Independent

“Even if I find the play intellectually woolly and predictable, I can’t deny the wit of Martin Crimp’s translation or the vitality of Cooke’s staging…”The Guardian

“Cumberbatch is a brilliant actor, but he’s far too modest in this knockout role.”The Stage

Image Credit: Royal Court Theatre Flickr Page