RHINOCEROS (23 March-7 April 2018)

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As DOT Theatre of Istanbul we were delighted to come together with Edinburgh’s illustrious Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Edinburgh International Festival for an enthralling new Scottish/Turkish interpretation of avant-garde playwright Ionesco’s Rhinoceros in the summer of 2017. This production was presented in a new version by leading Scottish playwright Zinnie Harris, directed by the celebrated founder of DOT Theatre, Murat Daltaban, and performed by a diverse company of actors from Scotland and Turkey. 

We are thrilled to be returning to The Lyceum in spring 2018 for a two week run in the season.

Eugène Ionesco’s classic 1959 play is an uproarious absurdist farce – and a chilling examination of conformism, nationalism, fascism and fundamentalism that has been compared with Orwell’s Animal Farm and Camus’s The Plague. It considers the countless ways in which humans are content to adapt themselves to new and horrifying circumstances, and give in to poisonous ideologies.

Speaking of her adaptation, playwright Zinnie Harris says: “I think Ionesco’s Rhinoceros is an immensely powerful and pertinent play for our times, if not a crucial play. It talks about mass movements, political discourse and how difficult it is to stand against a crowd – particularly one that is changing fast. The play is hilarious in places, witty and absurd – we are invited to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation before we recognise ourselves. When David Grieg and I first started talking about this project, it felt important that is should have an international team behind it, as this play speaks to so many regions of the world in 2017, so it is very exciting that we are able to work with the brilliant Turkish theatre director Murat Daltaban and his team from Dot Theatre in Istanbul. Murat is a dynamic and imaginative director that will a wonderful aesthetic and heart to the production.”

Director Murat Daltaban says: “The destruction becomes a sound in Rhinoceros. It arrives with a sound. It infects people with a sound. It insidiously alters the world with a sound. The masses cheer when that sound grows louder. The sound makes the individual deaf to the others and it isolates them. When the sound moves beyond the boundaries, one cannot hear one’s own voice anymore. All forms of communication, the sound destructs it all… This world, with all its “noises”, takes over our limbs and paralyses the time and space we are in. In this uncanny world, we must try to hear each other out, without succumbing to the fear it spreads.”

Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director says: “The International Festival has had a working relationship with The Lyceum, one of our core Festival venues, for many years and I’m delighted that this develops in 2017 with our co-production of Rhinoceros. Part of a special season for our 70 th anniversary which sees four Scottish theatre companies consider the origins of European drama from a contemporary perspective, Rhinoceros brings together Scottish writer Zinnie Harris with one of Turkey’s most radical independent theatre companies, in a show that I’m sure will speak to the whole continent and beyond”

Exploring the themes of conformity, culture, and morality, Eugène Ionesco said in an interview in Le Monde (January 17, 1960): “I have been very much struck by what one might call the current of opinion, by its rapid evolution, its power of contagion, which is that of a real epidemic. People allow themselves suddenly to be invaded by a new religion, a doctrine, a fanaticism…At such moments we witness a veritable mental mutation. I don’t know if you have noticed it, but when people no longer share your opinions, when you can no longer make yourself understood by them, one has the impression of being confronted with monsters – rhinos, for example. They have that mixture of candour and ferocity. They would kill you with the best of consciences.”

A co-production between Edinburgh International Festival and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in association with DOT Theatre Istanbul.

by Eugene Ionesco
A new version by Zinnie Harris
Director by Murat Daltaban


Designer: TOM PIPER

Composer, Sound Designer: OĞUZ KAPLANGI

Lighting Designer: CHRIS DAVEY

Literal Translator: DEBORAH NATANSON


Café proprietor, Mrs Boeuf: NATALIE ARLE-TOYNE

Old Gentleman: JOHN COBB


Housewife: ESİN HARVEY


Musician, Cat: OĞUZ KAPLANGI

Grocer, Papillon: MYRA MCFADYEN


Grocer’s wife, Botard: SALLY REID

The Logician, Dudard: HARRY WARD


Executive Producer: ÖZLEM DALTABAN

Producer: SÜHA BİLAL

Director’s Assistant, Interpreter: ERDEM AVŞAR

Project Assistant, Interpreter: ESİN HARVEY



Casting Director: LAURA DONNELLY


Videographer: ESRA RUŞAN

Photographer: BETH CHALMERS


“‘Okyanusa atlayıp yüzeceksin'” – ECE SARUHAN – Milliyet Sanat, Ağustos 2018

“‘Çok çalışmak’ klişesinin daha fazlası: DOT Tiyatro” – GÜLİN DEDE TEKİN – K24, 12 Temmuz 2018

“´Dot´a İskoçya´dan ödül” – ERDOĞAN MİTRANİ – Şalom, 19 Haziran 2018

“Dot Tiyatro, ‘Gergedanlar’ ve ödüller” – DİKMEN GÜRÜN – Cumhuriyet, 19 Haziran 2018

“In the shadow of Erdogan: interview with Turkish theatre director Murat Daltaban” – MARK BROWN – The Herald Scotland, 17 June 2018

“Hep geçecek bu günler diyoruz ama… ‘Gergedanlaşma tehdidi altındayız'” – Cumhuriyet, 16 Haziran 2018

“Bir gurur ve heyecan öyküsü” – ASU MARO – Milliyet Cadde, 15 Haziran 2018

“Edinburgh’dan Murat Daltaban Geçti” – PINAR EROL – Tiyatro Dergisi, 13 Haziran 2018

“Rhinoceros charges to four critics’ awards” – MIKE WADE – The Times, 11 June 2018

“Anti-fascist play tops Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland” – BBC News, 10 June 2018

“Tale of the alarming rise of fascism scoops major prizes at Scottish theatre awards” – PHIL MILLER – The Herald Scotland, 10 June 2018

“Edinburgh Lyceum’s Rhinoceros scoops four prizes at Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland” – THOM DIBDIN – The Stage, 10 June 2018

“2018 CATS in Full” – THOM DIBDIN – All Edinburgh Theatre, 10 June 2018

“‘Uluslar üstü tiyatro fikri beni heyecanlandırıyor'” – EKİN TÜRKANTOS – Habertürk, 10 Haziran 2018

“En iyi 5 oyun arasına girdi” – OYA DOĞAN – Vatan Makaron, 4 Nisan 2018

“Theatre Reviews: Rhinoceros/Richard III” – MARK BROWM – The Herald, 1 April 2018

“Five of the best … theatre shows Rhinoceros” – LYN GARDNER – The Guardian, 31 March 2018

“DOT Edinburg’ta” – OYA DOĞAN – Vatan Makaron, 26 Mart 2018

“Rhinoceros” – CATHERINE CARNIE – Edinburgh Festival, 26 March 2018

“Rhinoceros” – JAMES O’BRIEN – Edinburgh Festival, 26 March 2018

“Rhinoceros (Lyceum Theatre: 23 March-7 April ’18)” – NATHANIEL BRIMMER-BELLER – Edinburgh49, 26 March 2018

“Rhinoceros” – SUSAN SINGFIELD – Bouquets & Brickbats , 25 March 2018

“Rhinoceros – Lyceum Spring 2018” – TABITHA JAMES – Young Perspective , 2 April 2018

“Rhinocreos, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Review” – JUSTINE BLUNDELL – Edinburgh Guide , 26 March 2018

“Rhinoceros – Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh” – THE REVIEWS HUB – The Reviews Hub , 26 March 2018

“THEATRE REVIEW: Rhinoceros” – PETER CALLAGHAN – reviewsphere.org , 25 March 2018

Zinnie Harris is a playwright, screenwriter and theatre director. Her plays include THIS RESTLESS HOUSE (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 2016), winner of Best New Play at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2016; HOW TO HOLD YOUR BREATH (Royal Court Theatre, 2015), winner of the Berwin Lee Award 2015; THE MESSAGE and ON THE WATCH (Tricycle Theatre, London, 2012), THE WHEEL (National Theatre of Scotland, 2011) joint winner of the 2011 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and a Fringe First, short-listed for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award; THE PANEL (Tricycle Theatre, London 2010); THE GARDEN (Traverse Theatre, 2009); FALL (Traverse Theatre, 2008) SOLSTICE (RSC, 2005); MIDWINTER (RSC, 2004) winner of an Arts Foundation Fellowship Award for playwriting, and short-listed for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award; NIGHTINGALE AND CHASE (Royal Court, 2001); and FURTHER THAN THE FURTHEST THING (Royal National Theatre/Tron Theatre, 2000/1), which was winner of the Peggy Ramsay Playwriting Award, the John Whiting Award and a Fringe First award as well as being specially commended by the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and short-listed for the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright, BY MANY WOUNDS (Hampstead Theatre 1999) shortlisted for the Allied Domecq Award and the Meyer Whitworth Award. Adaptations include A DOLL’S HOUSE (Donmar Warehouse, 2009) and MISS JULIE (National Theatre of Scotland, 2006).

Zinnie has also written for television and radio, with two 90 minute dramas for Channel 4 called BORN WITH TWO MOTHERS and RICHARD IS MY BOYFRIEND and episodes for the BBC One Drama Series SPOOKS. She was lead writer on the series PARTNERS IN CRIME for Endor / BBC 1 (broadcast in 2015), starring Jessica Raine and David Walliams and which was based on the Agatha Christie novels TOMMY AND TUPPENCE.

Zinnie is currently under commission to the Royal Court, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. She has been Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre since spring 2015.

Murat Daltaban was born in Ankara in 1966. Graduated with BA in Mining Engineering from Middle East Technical University in 1987. Studied part time at the Ankara State Conservatory Opera and Singing between 1983 – 1986. Graduated with a BA in Acting from The Languages, History and Geography Faculty – Theatre Department of Ankara University in 1992. Joined the Istanbul City Theatre in 1993, as an actor. Performed in numerous productions by the company. (E.g. Prince Andrei in War and Peace; Iago in Othello; Jason in Medea; Debuisson in The Mission) Resigned from The Istanbul City Theatre in 2004. In 2005, founded a theatre space named DOT in Istanbul. Founding Partner and Artistic Director of DOT, Murat Daltaban works both as director and actor in productions staged.

2018, Meet me at dawn by Zinnie Harris, DOT
2017, Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco, a new version by Zinnie Harris, Royal Lyceum Theatre
2017, How To Hold Your Breath by Zinnie Harris, DOT
2015, Midwinter by Zinnie Harris, DOT
2014, Theatre Uncut Istanbul Reading in Istanbul and in Edinburgh
2014, Fight Night by Alexander Devriendt, DOT
2013, Dalgety by David Greig, DOT
2013, Housekeeping by Lucy Kirkwood, DOT
2013, Fragile by David Greig, DOT
2012, Beautiful Burnout by Bryony Lavery, DOT
2011, Festen by David Eldridge, Dotkoleksiyonda
2010, Mandrel by Hakan Günday, DOT (17.IKSV International İstanbul Theatre Festival)
2009, Pornography by Simon Stephens, DOT
2009, Shopping and F***ing by Mark Ravenhill, DOT
2008, Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat by Mark Ravenhill, Dotatbilsar
2008, The Storyteller, DOT (16. IKSV International İstanbul Theatre Festival)
2007, Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley, DOT
2006, Bug by Tracy Letts, DOT
2005, Love and Understanding by Joe Penhall, DOT
2002, 0 (Zero) by Murat Daltaban, Independent
1998, 80060 by ÖzenYula, 5.Street Theater (12. IKSV International İstanbul Theatre Festival)

UNESCO’s International Critics Union Award (TEB)
2005-2006 Season, Theatre of the Year Award – Dot Theatre with all productions.
2008-2009 Season, Production of the Year Award – Dotatbilsar – Shoot/Get treasure/Repeat
2010 -2011 Season, Theatre of the Year Award – Dotatkoleksiyon – Festen

Afife Theatre Awards
2012 Best Production – Beautiful Burnout
2009 Best New Generation Project – Dotatbilsar – Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat

Sadri Alışık Theatre Award
2012 Jury Special Award for Best Ensemble Cast – Orphans and Beautiful Burnout
2011 Best Director for Production of the Year – Murat Daltaban – Festen
2010 Best New Generation Project – Dotatmars, Pornography and DOT, Shopping and F***ing
2008 Best New Generation Project – Mercury Fur

The Tiyatro Dergisi Theatre Awards
2008 Best Production – Bug

2015, Rüzgarın Hatıraları
2009, Kara Köpekler Havlarken
2007, Pars: Kiraz Operasyonu
1999, Salkım Hanımın Taneleri
1998, Cumhuriyet
1994, Babam Askerde

2016, Poyraz Karayel
2015, Kördüğüm
2014, Poyraz Karayel
2013, Eski Hikaye
2012, Ağır Roman
2010, Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?
2009, Hicran Yarası
2008, Kalpsiz Adam
2007, Menekşe ile Halil
2005, Hırsız Polis
2002, Kınalı Kar
2002, Kumsaldaki izler
2001, Hırsız
1999, Yüzleşme
1998, Hüznün Yüzü
1997, Yalan
1997, Yeni Bir Yıldız
1996, Bir Aşkın Bittiği Yer
1993, Çakalların İzinde


2017 – 2018 Season “Best Director”   Murat Daltaban – Rhinoceros

2017 – 2018 Season “Best Production”   Rhinoceros

2017 – 2018 Season “Best Music and Sound”   Oğuz Kaplangı – Rhinoceros

2017 – 2018 Season “Best Male Performance”   Robert Jack – Rhinoceros