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TUNIS 2023

EL الجبل 

Elagabal - El, emperor over Rome from 218-222, was born in an era similar to our own, characterised by ethnic and cultural diversity. A time full of prosperity, nearing its inevitable end and on the cusp of great change. Raised in Syria by four women, Elagabal came to the Roman throne while still a child. With a mixture of mad clarity and prophetic vision, he did not want to introduce a new oriental cult to Rome, but to merge all the cults into one, anticipating the introduction of Christianity, while retaining his affection for Dionysus, the god of freedom. He knew that his reign would be short and inevitably chaotic. A reign with women in parliament, without wars, with a double marriage of a Vestal Virgin, characterised by excesses, festivals, mixing of gender roles, rites and religions. 


The Mediterranean Theatre Ensemble under the direction of Simone Mannino develops the play "EL" and tells the story of this unusual fate in three languages and with music.


A large part of humanity follows the pursuit of everything possible, the addiction to controlling power, the greed for boundless, weightless, immortal existence.

But it is unbearable and incredibly fascinating to watch someone who lives by it, to observe someone who has understood it and shows you what we are capable of. We are all El, only we are an inert mass and the effects of our excesses will not kill us completely for hundreds of years. In petrified thought processes of our desires. Or will we first pursue the utopia that emerged in EL's short life and try to live in freedom and equality?


A play by the Mediterranean Theatre Ensemble directed by Simone Mannino


Ruth Kemna wrote original music and was involved in the creation of the play as an actress on stage.


Performances: 20-22 October 2023 Ciné-théâtre Le Rio, Tunis


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