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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

‘an expose of human behaviour, conformity and communication…a fantastic night at the theatre’ Edinburg Guide

“EIF 2017: Rhinoceros, Lyceum Theatre, Review” – IRENE BROWN –, 6 August 2017
“EIF 2017: Rhinoceros, Lyceum Theatre, Review” – IRENE BROWN –, 6 August 2017 (TR)


‘blazing with theatrical energy and wit’ The Scotsman

“Theatre review: Rhinoceros” – JOYCE MCMILLAN – The Scotsman, 7 August 2017
“Theatre review: Rhinoceros” – JOYCE MCMILLAN – The Scotsman, 7 August 2017 (TR)


‘an elegant production, as entertaining as it is powerful’ The List

“Rhinoceros – A powerful re-telling of Ionesco’s classic 1959 play” – ADELINE AMAR –, 9 August 2017
“Rhinoceros – A powerful re-telling of Ionesco’s classic 1959 play” – ADELINE AMAR –, 9 August 2017 (TR)


‘a remarkable achievement…as hilarious as it is desperate, and as urgent as it is compelling’ The Arts Desk

“Edinburgh Festival 2017 reviews: Rhinoceros / Flight” – DAVID KETTLE –, 10 August 2017
“Edinburgh Festival 2017 reviews: Rhinoceros / Flight” – DAVID KETTLE –, 10 August 2017 (TR)


‘it’s earned its place as ‘that show’ for 2017 Hammy’s Comedy

“Rhinoceros” – Hammy’s Comedy Reviews –, 11 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – Hammy’s Comedy Reviews –, 11 August 2017 (TR)


‘Director Murat Daltaban has an eye for injecting humour into darkness and darkness into humour’ The Fountain

“Rhinoceros, EIF 2017” – FIONA BARNETT –, 11 August 2017
“Rhinoceros, EIF 2017” – FIONA BARNETT –, 11 August 2017 (TR)


“Rhinoceros” – TABITHA JAMES – Young Perspective, 17 August 2017


‘a defiant cry for our times’ The Herald

“Festival Theatre: Rhinoceros, Royal Lyceum Theatre” – NEIL COOPER –, 6 August 2017
“Festival Theatre: Rhinoceros, Royal Lyceum Theatre” – NEIL COOPER –, 6 August 2017 (TR)


‘an enjoyable, thought- provoking production under the direction of DOT theatre’s Murat Daltaban’ The Lothian

“Rhinoceros” – ROS MACKENZIE –, 6 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – ROS MACKENZIE –, 6 August 2017 (TR)


‘Fascinating and wildly stylish’ The Times

“Edinburgh theatre review: Rhinoceros at the Lyceum Theatre” – ANN TRENEMAN – The Times, 7 August 2017


‘combining knockabout comedy with a deep consideration of human society’ All Edinburgh Theatre

“Rhinoceros” – HUGH SIMPSON –, 8 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – HUGH SIMPSON –, 8 August 2017 (TR)


‘far smarter than a one-note topical satire’ The Independent

“Edinburgh Festival, Rhinoceros, Royal Lyceum Theatre, review: ‘Far smarter than a one-note topical satire'” – DAVID POLLOCK – The Independent, 10 August 2017
“Edinburgh Festival, Rhinoceros, Royal Lyceum Theatre, review: ‘Far smarter than a one-note topical satire'” – DAVID POLLOCK – The Independent, 10 August 2017 (TR)


‘This is a visually splendid production, with  pitch perfect acting, riding a tightrope between the absurd and the horrific’ SG Fringe

“Rhinoceros” – TONY CHALLIS –, 11 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – TONY CHALLIS –, 11 August 2017 (TR)


‘the cast’s interpretation is successful in portraying a society embittered by lack of compassion and everyday violence’ Plays to see

“Rhinoceros” – MARINE FURET –, 12 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – MARINE FURET –, 12 August 2017 (TR)


‘Zinnie Harris brings stampeding rhinos to Edinburgh’ The Guardian

“Zinnie Harris brings stampeding rhinos and marooned lovers to Edinburgh” – MICHAEL BILLINGTON – The Guardian, 7 August 2017
“Zinnie Harris brings stampeding rhinos and marooned lovers to Edinburgh” – MICHAEL BILLINGTON – The Guardian, 7 August 2017 (TR)


“Dot Edinburgh’da” – ERDOĞAN MİTRANİ – Şalom, 20 Eylül 2017


“Ne kadar gurur duysak az; DOT Edinburgh Festivali’nde” – ZEYNEP AKSOY – Istanbul Art News, Eylül 2017


“İskoç seyirciyi sarsan bir fırtına: Gergedanlar” – ZEYNEP AKSOY – Hürriyet kitap Sanat, 11 Ağustos 2017


“‘GERGEDAN’ Edinburgh’da…” – DİKMEN GÜRÜN – Cumhuriyet, 10 Ağustos 2017


‘a visually striking 1¾ hours’ The British Theatre Guide

“Rhinoceros” – PHILIP FISHER –, 9 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – PHILIP FISHER –, 9 August 2017 (TR)


‘the production values are excellent’ Festmag

“Rhinoceros” – LAURA KRESSLY –, 9 August 2017
“Rhinoceros” – LAURA KRESSLY –, 9 August 2017 (TR)


‘The strength of this piece is in the acknowledgement of its timelessness’ L’Alchemie du verbe

“Rhinoceros by Murat Daltaban & Zinnie Harris” – LOUISE RULH –, 13 August 2017
“Rhinoceros by Murat Daltaban & Zinnie Harris” – LOUISE RULH –, 13 August 2017 (TR)

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