Thus says Berenger at the end of Eugène Ionesco‘s play Rhinoceros, written in 1959. This was Ionesco’s creative response to the kind of ideological fundamentalism that results in Fascism and Nazism, with its themes of conformity, culture, mass movements, mob mentality, philosophy and morality.
If it is the responsibility of artists to “hold the mirror up to nature” as Shakespeare suggests, or just to examine everyday society and provoke discussion (while providing entertainment) then I believe this particular play is a play for now, for our times, richly deserving of revival and re-staging all over the country – if not the world.
So Thunder’s Mouth Theatre is organising a rehearsed (staged) reading of Rhinoceros, (#RhinoRead) to take place (provisionally) at the Bread and Roses Theatre in South Clapham, London on Tuesday 14th February. What a Valentine’s Day gift that will be!
Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved in any way. We still need readers, musicians, technicians and of course, audience.
And if you’d like help in organising a reading for your community, TMT will help in any way we can. Let’s speak truth to ourselves, whether power is listening or not. After all, the TMT motto is “O that my tongue were in the thunder’s mouth…”
“In a time of terror – such as our time – the theatre’s promotion of ideas and feelings takes on a significant extra social valence. The terrorist’s ambition is not just to kill people but to kill thought, to divide the society against itself, and, in doing so, force it to implode from within. As the general mood of retreat and the many political false steps of Western democracies indicate, the strategy of terrorism is working better than we like to admit. Terrorism makes a spectacle of absurdity, in which pain unmakes the world. Theatre, which attempts to understand our pain, makes a spectacle of meaning and coherence. Now, more than ever, theatre is not only a demonstration of courage but an engineer of it.” John Lahr. Joy Ride.