What Is the Story of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo?
Bengal Tiger follows the interweaving lives of a group of people in Baghdad during the Iraq war. The story begins while two American soldiers guard a caged tiger inside the Baghdad Zoo. When the tiger tries to attack one man, the other shoots the animal. The ghost of the tiger soon begins to haunt the soldier as those around the soldier begin to suspect he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The story also focuses on an Iraqi translator working with the Americans who hallucinates conversations with his deceased former employer, Uday Hussein (son of Saddam).
Dark and disturbing but also corrosively funny, Rajiv Joseph’s play set during the early days of the Iraq War is an exotic original.Review by David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter
[Robin Williams] gives a performance of focused intelligence and integrity, embodying the animal who becomes the play’s questioning conscience with a savage bite that never loosens its gripReview by Charles Isherwood from The New York Times
What Is Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Like?
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo exposes the horrors of war through dark humor. Supernatural forces play a heavy role in the story as many of the characters are haunted by the ghosts. Some suspension of belief is required as a tiger speaks to humans and philosophizes about the after-life. The characters often address the audience to discuss the traumatizing events around them as they question their motives, religious beliefs and existence in general.
Is Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo Good for Kids?
Children should not visit this Zoo. There are many violent moments in the show, including a tiger attack, suicide attempt and warfare combat. One character even carries around the severed head of his dead brother. There is also frequent use of expletives and images of gruesome sex acts. One character is raped, while another hires a prostitute after losing a limb to help him achieve an orgasm. The overall effect war has on the characters and their surrounding may also prove very disturbing to children.