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Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at Little Theatre

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
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"When an atheist suddenly finds himself walking around after death, he has got some serious re-evaluating to do."

The Little Theatre is opening the 2021 season with a powerful production of Rajiv Joseph's pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominated play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. He won the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2016 with Guards at the Taj and in 2018, for Describe the Night.

David Grybowski as The Tiger. Photo by Richard Parkhill.


Joseph was inspired by the actual events that happened during the US 2003 invasion into Iraq and draws out the folly of the Iraq war and American Exceptionalism, with clear warnings of the dangers of American war and imperialism.

Oliver de Rohan and Nigel Tripodi. Photo by Richard Parkhill.


Comes complete with ghosts, topiary and a golden gun and a golden toilet seat, with a quirky atmosphere which is humorous at times to the plot. Joseph poses some interesting questions and answers.

Noah Fernandes and Nadia Talotta. Photo by Richard Parkhill.


I am sure Rajiv Joseph had a reason for writing this play, which is highly regarded and some audiences will appreciate its philosophical depth, but there were moments when I struggled to follow the extent of continually musing about topiary and blaming God for how he made us. Perhaps other audience members may be left wondering too.

Anita Zamberlan Canala. Photo by Richard Parkhill.


Throughout this intense play, the entire cast is marvellous giving gripping and believable performances, even though the characters are so unlikeable as they appear extremely angry and aggressive. There were occasional moments when their yelling made it hard to follow what was being said. I was interested in how particular characters spoke in Arabic, which made the play more engaging and realistic. There was some recurring striking imagery of hands, especially the soldier's prosthetic hand, the elderly woman with leprosy with no hands, and the negotiating between the soldier with the prosthetic hand with a prostitute.

Oliver de Rohan and Adam Tuominem. Photo by Richard Parkhill


Directed by Nick Fagan and performed by Adam Tuominen, Anita Zamberlan Canala, David Grybowski , Nadia Talotta, Nigel Tripodi, Noah Fernandes and Oliver De Rohan, this haunting and powerful production is theatre that you simply do not want to miss.

The dark comedy is thought-provoking - regarding war and peace, good and evil, and are we capable of changing who we are?

I was grateful for the email I received warning me of the difficulty of securing a car park due to the closing of the Cloisters and Barr Smith Lawns' car parks and the anicipated additional need for car parks due to the football event at Adelaide Oval. However, the offer of car parking at the University's Underground carpark off North Terrace is a long exhausting walk for anyone with a disability.
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Why? The gripping, intense, quirky dark comedy is thought provoking - regarding war and peace, good and evil, and are we capable of changing who we are?
When: Sat. 8 May, Thurs-Sat 13 - 15 & 20 - 22 May at 7.30 pm and Sun 9 May 2021 at 4 pm (Matinee).
Phone: Email theatreguild@adelaide.edu.au
Where: Little Theatre, The Cloisters, The University of Adelaide, The Theatre Guild, Little Theatre - The Cloisters, University of Adelaide. - After hours parking available in the University grounds. Please allow extra time for parking on nights when there
Cost: TICKET PRICES: $25 Full / $20 Concession Online: www.trybooking.com/BGSOM (fee applies) Tickets at the door subject to availability Group Bookings: 10 at concession rate.
Your Comment
If you aren't physically able, you should be aware that the only toilet access is up a flight of stairs that is more or less in the dark - it isn't a comfortable experience even for young university students. It's a real pity that this can't be addressed. It hasn't just stopped my mother going, but it has stopped us because we can't go with her :(
by cathy (score: 0|2) 38 days ago
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