Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    1960 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (printers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Offset lithograph and letterpress

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Theatre & Performance, Room 106, case WE, shelf EXP

Poster advertising Eugène Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, Royal Court Theatre, 1960.

This was the first English language production of Rhinoceros, and was directed by Orson Welles, who also designed the set, costumes, lighting and sound effects. Though Welles found it hard to work with his star actor, Laurence Olivier, the production was well received by the press and transferred to the Strand Theatre in the West End.

Physical description

Pictorial and typographic poster advertising Rhinoceros at the Royal Court Theatre. The poster is divided into blocks of colour, white and pink, with the name of the theatre printed on an orange background above. The names of the actors and director are printed in black lettering with the playwright's name in red and there is a drawing of a rhinoceros in red in place of the play title.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (printed)


1960 (printed)


Unknown (printers)

Materials and Techniques

Offset lithograph and letterpress


Height: 50.6 cm, Width: 31.5 cm

Object history note

Associated Production: Rhinoceros. Playwright: Eugene Ionesco. Producer: Orson Welles. Actors: Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright, Alan Webb, Duncan Macrae, Miles Malleson. The English Stage Company. Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London. 28.4.1960. Performance category: drama.

Descriptive line

Poster advertising Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, Royal Court Theatre, 1960

Labels and date

Ionesco’s surrealist play gave Orson Welles an opportunity to work with Laurence Oliver, who he had long admired. Welles not only directed Rhinoceros, he designed the set, costumes, lighting and sound effects. The production’s first night was fraught with difficulties. After Welles had apologised to the audience, he continued to issue technical instructions to the cast and crew throughout the performance.



Printing ink; Paper


Offset lithography; Printing


Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Posters; Advertising


Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.