In a faraway country, not here at all, a long time ago, not now at all, an isolated case took place. That completely unexpected and entirely unfathomable meeting between the city folk and a thick-skinned animal was illustrated by a sigh. How on earth did it end up where it’s not supposed to be? And should one worry or should one first make sure whether it’s even there or not? After all, things that don’t actually exist have been seen before. Did it come from the zoo? No. All animals had died of the plague long ago. Such animals no longer exist; something so natural no longer exists. Where did it come from? Is it there? And what does it all mean?
Eugéne Ionesco, the author of the play, lived in a world where on the one hand, something exists, and on the other hand, something exists as well, and then there is chaos. This causes the sensitive type to search for answers to questions such as will anything remain once the feet touch the ground, or will everything repeat itself? His metaphor-rich and wonderfully orchestrated play Rhinoceros is loaded with allusions that are relevant again in the present day, both here and elsewhere. And, in the midst of it all, Ionesco is not a hopeless pessimist. He can laugh so heartily that even his hat can fall over his eyes due to the intense shaking.