20:00 Schauspielhaus



A post-factual epic after Homer, Vergil, Shakespeare, Schiller & Goethe
Directed by Tomas Schweigen

Premiere: auf unbestimmte Zeit verschoben
Reality is abolished. In wartime there are only interests. Tomas Schweigen & ensemble investigate the relationship between culture, politics and truth in the post-factual era based on the mysterious complex around mythical Troy.

Troy is the perfect fortress. No one ever succeeded in conquering the prospering city. But there is turmoil at the borders. And on top of the Olympus a distinguished circle of divine voyeurs has gathered to observe humanity on its voyage to the edge of doom. Out of futile reasons the Greeks and Trojans threat to extinguish each other. The brutal war of extermination has been raging for ten years. Yet the walls of Troy withstand – until the Greeks decide to use the possibly most daring trick of war history.
The origin of the myth lies in complete darkness. Not even the historical existence of Homer who reports in his „Iliad“ of the war for Troy is regarded as completely verified. Yet royal and imperial families, even cities and whole nations derive their origin from mythical Troy. The Romans who made Aeneas, a Trojan prince who escaped catastrophe, the progenitor of their nation, are a prominent example for it. Vergil’s „Aeneis“ saved the memory of the history of the Trojan War for the Romans. However the conspiracy thesis is circulating in literary criticism that the Roman emperor Augustus wanted to create a linking founding myth for his empire which is why he commissioned the Roman contemporary writer Vergil to write about the „Aeneis“ as post-factual myth.
Until the 19th century it was completely unclear if Troy had actually existed, until today the exact outlines of the legendary city are disputed amongst historians. There are even indications that the constellations described by Homer of a war of the Mycenaeans against the Trojans never happened like this.The Mycenaen princes were under an immense military pressure in the assumed period and some historians support the thesis that in the 12th century B.C. the capacities for a campaign against Troy had not been sufficient. Troy might also have been destroyed by the so called Sea Peoples that had already taken the Hittite Empire by storm. Or the destruction, as archeologists assume, is based on a much more profane reason: Troy might as well through a major fire caused by a hearth fire that had gotten out of control. The historical uncertainty were not able to diminish the fame of the „Iliad“ and the myth is still regarded as an important root of the Greek-occidental culture. During Homer’s life time the Trojan war had been over for about 400 years. Today we are seperated from the battles at the Hellespont by 3000 years.
The cruel face of war described in the „Iliad“ seems not to have changed over the 3000 years history of mankind. Probably the sad fact that war is ineradicably part of being human is also the reason for the unabated fascination that springs from the „Iliad“. The myth of Troy marks the beginning of war reporting. In his epic Homer tells of duels and battles, carnage and death, doubt and fear, grief and sorrow, despotism and courage, but also of love and desire after the end of the war on both sides. It examines how thin the layer of civilisation is, how easily inhibition and bestiality take possession of humans. Besides the „Iliad“ also represents also the beginning of a series of a politically biased coverage and manipulation of the public that runs through the centuries up to our post-factual presence. In a large scale ancient times project Tomas Schweigen and his team adjourn to the mysterious epic cycle around the destruction of Troy and examine above all the faultlines and contradictions of the narration. He draws on various sources from Homer’s „Iliad“ to Vergil’s „Aeneid“, Shakespeare’s „Troilus and Cressida“, Goethe’s „Iphigenia in Tauris“ to „No war about Troy“ by Jean Giraudoux. From our presence where emotions have replaced facts, he is looking at one of the biggest myths between the poles of destruction and new beginning, love and hate, truth and politics.