The Rave Empire - 2022 - FARaway festival des arts à Reims

La Comédie presents

Julian, the nephew of Emperor Constantine II, lives at the court in Christian Constantinople under constant surveillance.

Julian is in love with ancient Greece and finds himself questioning Christianity who has destroyed the beauty of Greek thought. He follows his sophist teacher Libanius to Athens.

Julian soon becomes popular within the Greek Academy where he runs rhetorical discussions and logical debates. Yet Julian still does not believe he has found what he is really looking for – the truth. He hears rumors of a mystic named Maximus, and Julian decides to leave Athens to find him.

In Ephesus, Maximus sets up a mysterious symposium for Julian to communicate with the other world where he encounters a voice in the light, sending him cryptic messages, telling him that he must “establish the kingdom on the freedom road”. “The third is the empire of the great mystery,” says Maximus where he describes the empire that exists beyond the realm of the flesh in paganism and the realm of the spirit in Christianity.

Julian is then presented with a vision of the two great deniers, Cain and Judas Iscariot. The third great denier is “not yet amongst the shades” (p.123) says Maximus who will show Julian no more.

News arrives that Gallus, Julian’s brother, heir to the imperial throne, is dead and that Julian has been appointed Caesar of the Roman Empire. Julian takes this as a sign that he will establish the kingdom referred to in the vision. Gallus is suspected of trying to murder the emperor thus clearing Julian’s way to power. Julian marries Helena, Constantine the Great‘s daughter, but – Constantius’ assassins poison Helena who reveals to Julian that she had loved his dead brother.

The soldiers backing Julian convince him to go to Constantinople and seize power.

In Vienne, Julian awaits news around the emperor’s sickbed and updates from the mystic Maximus. It ends with him making an offering to Helios as he is proclaimed emperor of the Roman Empire.

After becoming emperor, Julian reveals his commitment to paganism. Yet, Christians quickly begin to destroy pagan temples, and the pagans retaliate. Julian leads his army against the Persians. He is tricked into burning his ships, and his army is defeated. Julian is killed, and the army rejoices that the new Emperor is a Christian.

La Comédie, CDN de Reims accueille pendant le festival la Zoukak Theatre Company pour une résidence de création, Empereur et Galiléen, (avec ouverture au public) et deux spectacles Ghalia’s Miles – 2022 et I hate theater I love pornography.

 


 

Meeting with the audience after the performance. 

 

Zoukak Theatre Company are resident artists 21/22 at the Comédie – CDN de Reims