Moree Arts Community Theatre (MACT) presents latest show, 'Rhinoceros'

SATIRE: MACT will present 'Rhinoceros', a play by Eugene Ionesco, on November 15 and 16. Photo: contributed

SATIRE: MACT will present 'Rhinoceros', a play by Eugene Ionesco, on November 15 and 16. Photo: contributed

A play that makes people think, while at the same time is completely absurd, will take centre stage in Moree next weekend.

Moree Arts Community Theatre (MACT) will take on a different tone to its usual comedy/musical burlesque productions when it presents its latest show, Rhinoceros, a play by Eugene Ionesco.

Written in 1959 in post-World War II Europe, Rhinoceros explores conformism, humanism and logic, making a statement that is relevant in a post-truth world.

The play is set in a small, provincial French town in the 1950s and follows Berenger, a semi-alcoholic going through an existential crisis. While having a drink with his refined friend Jean, a rhinoceros tramples an innocent cat offstage. Later, a woman claims her husband has turned into a rhinoceros. In fact people seem to be turning into rhinoceroses at an alarming rate.


"It's an absurd, quirky play," cast member Jacqualyn Drenkhahn said.

"It's pretty out there, but it makes you think."

The funny, satirical and poignant avant-garde drama is a play local director Tim Barklay has wanted to tackle for some time.

"I think the contrast between absurdity and logic in the play was the main draw for me," he said.

"It's got an interesting message about conformity and blindly following people, but it's wrapped up in a completely ridiculous idea that people turn into rhinoceroses. The dialogue is really clever as well."

Rhinoceros features an all-local cast of 11, with a number of old MACT faces and some new ones, including Barklay himself as the lead 'everyman' character of Berenger and Will Penfold as Berenger's best friend Jean.

Other cast members include Julie McMullen (Daisy), Greg Fisher (Dudard), Kaatje Dean (waitress), Andrew O'Neill (grocer), Jacqualyn Drenkhahn (grocer's wife/Mrs Boeuf), Greg Cumberland (old gentleman/fireman), Isaac Bartelen (logician/Mr Papillon), Deeni Mitchell (housewife) and Brennan Cumberland (cafe proprietor/Botard).

Set to take the stage at the Uniting Church Hall for two nights only, Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16, Rhinoceros is not to be missed.

The Moree community is encouraged to come along, take their minds off the drought and enjoy a night of fun and entertainment, all while supporting local creative and performing arts.

"People are affected by the drought, but entertainment is important and that's what MACT is all about," Drenkhahn said.

"It's just a night out and a chance to support the local art scene and have a bit of a laugh."

Tickets are $25 and are available from www.123tix.com.au and Sylvia's Fabrics.