Rhino Provino: 'A Sideshow of the Soul!'

An original hip-hop, rock musical drama set in a broken down 'circus'

archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 1 minute
Published 07 Aug 2007

Playwright Chris Lane knows the merits of a good metaphor. This inspiring story centres on a rare, African black rhino that becomes a metaphor for racial and class struggles still riddling society today.

In Rhino Provino, a down-at-heel circus imports an African black rhino, an animal thereatened with extinction, in an attempt to raise some cash. From here onwards, the play begins to entangle its audience in a web of complex moral issues. As the rhino's health disintegrates, the motives and ethics of the circus are examined.

Chris Lane's vibrant musical examines the boundaries of race and culture through hip-hop and rock music. The quality of the music is a highlight of the show and adds energy to the production. The entertaining group of circus performers, along with a superb rendering of the tortured rhino by Tra Ford, brings the show to life.

Rhino Provino showcases some promising talent both in the cast and in the musical pieces. The cast have a clear grasp on what they are trying to achieve but are let down by the lack of effective direction. As a result the show fails to satisfy despite displaying great promise.