Rhinoceros By Eugene Ionesco. The St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theatre

Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco

An Inhuman Story with Jazz, Songs and Dance


Rhinoceros is a story about how people suddenly turn into rhinoceros. One after the other. Of different ages, classes, cultures, values and faiths. Rhinoceros are frightful beasts when they gather into a herd. Better not get in their way – they’ll crush and stomp everything without even noticing. Nor is it worthwhile to try to reason with them – they’ll neither listen nor understand. For their ‘normality’ to them raises no questions. Moreover, the more of them there are, the less those around them question their normality. Their determination, their brute strength and the clarity of their desires are so appealing! They can do anything! Away with snobbish limits and rules! Away with codes of conduct! Freedom! There’s only one rule: THERE ARE NO RULES! EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO A RIGHT!

But what do you do if just yesterday the rhinoceros you see was your colleague, your friend, your beloved? Will you still consider them a person, or are they already… rhinoceros? And what do you do if someone else’s ‘right’ infringes upon your own?


This is a story about spirituality and its absence. About the nature of evil, if that even is a natural phenomenon. What is the real difference between a human and a beast? Is there one? Why is it that culture, art, religion, science and humanitarian values, which we assume have been building up over thousands of years, aren’t actually building up at all? They disappear in an instant, like steam in a sauna, when His Highness Instinct opens the door! And is everything that is not obscene always natural? Where is the boundary between tolerance and intemperance?


For audiences aged 12 and up

Premiered 25 December 2015

Duration: 3 hours with one interval


Translation by Lia Zavyalova

Director – Alexander Kladko

Designer – Boris Shlyamin

Lyrics – Boris Birman

Music Selection – Maxim Studenovsky

Light Design – Igor Tupikin

Choreography – Nikolai Kuglyant

Vocal Coach – Grigory Uglov

Sound Engineer – Polina Chernigovskaya

Stage Managers – Alyona Parshina, Svetlana Povalyaeva


Berenger – Arseni Semyonov

Daisy – Arina Lykova

Jean – Sergei Agafonov

Dudard – Alexei Vedernikov

Botard – Sergei Intyakov

Papillon – Andrei Gavryushkin

Logician – Maxim Studenovsky

Old Gentleman – Vladimir Kochurov, Konstantin Grishanov

Waitress – Vladimir Karpov

Shopkeeper – Alyona Artyomova

Madame Boeuf, the Café Owner – Polina Vorobyova, Kseniya Morozova

Housewife – Sofya Karabulina

Rhinoceros – Nikolai Kuglyant



Ellida Velitskaya (trumpet)

Natalia Ldova (trumpet)

Evgeni Burulev (trombone)

Serafima Verkholat (saxophone)

Alyona Mushinskaya (saxophone)

Vladimir Loskutov (saxophone)

Nikolai Kuglyant (double bass)

Maxim Studenovsky (keys)

Dmitri Zhitkov (drums)

Robert Studenovsky (drums)

Andrei Fando (accordion)

Oleg Molin (trumpet)



Sofya Karabulina, Arseni Semyonov, Vladimir Kochurov, Arina Lykova, Vladimir Karpov

Билеты в театр «Мастерская»