Rhinoceros, by Eugène Ionesco 

Theatraverse presents "Rhinoceros at Play", a new bilingual theatre project, running from September 2011 until April 2013. There is a direct link between the choice of play - Rhinocéros, by Eugène Ionesco - and Theatraverse’s company philosophy. Our company pays particular attention to words, to their role in communication both on and off-stage.


Ionesco’s plays approach the question of communicability not as an impossibility, but rather as a difficulty or a challenge. In choosing to mix French and English in this adaptation of Rhinoceros, the members of Theatraverse explore new possibilities of linguistic exchange.

What exactly helps or hinders our understanding of a situation?

Is foreign language the only hurdle in the way of comprehension?

Ionesco wrote Rhinoceros during a period of existential crises – not only his own, but also those of his contemporaries.

The big question raised by Ionesco on the possibility of effective communication in a world at war in which certain abuses of power are so difficult to comprehend, remains relevant today.

Rhinoceros shows us just how far totalitarianism can go. Comparisons can be drawn between the above themes and that of the omnipresence of the English language in today’s society: are we witnessing an English language "occupation" of Europe?

Where is the line between progress and occupation?

How can we protect our diverse languages and cultures without being pushed aside like Berenger?

We are seeking not to make a link between the Anglophone world and the Fascism to which Ionesco refers, but rather to investigate the importance of remaining true to one’s identity, whilst being open to evolution. Is it possible to find a balance, and how?

Alongside performances of Rhinoceros, the artistic team will lead foreign language physical theatre workshops.