In the ruins of Athens

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2017 archive

Le Birgit Ensemble

Paris / Created in 2017

In the ruins of Athens © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Practical infos


Two levels of speech and a multiplicity of viewpoints. On a stage made to resemble a Corinthian temple, In the ruins of Athens plays with the situation in Greece and establishes right away the fake and the illusion as alternatives to reality. Buried under what we might call the rubbles of the talks with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, a handful of Athenian citizens lock themselves up in a reality TV studio, hoping to come out as winners of the programme and thus see their personal debt forgiven. Halfway between satire and ancient tragedy, those characters, who bear the names of tragic heroes, question politics and economics, but also their own lineage and the universal need for catharsis and thirst for blood. The claustrophobic “Parthenon Story” is shot offstage and broadcast live on screens while historical events are recreated by the European institutions. In this show that brings together mythological fiction and news stories, the audience is invited not only to watch but to take a more active role via a vote. Spectator, television viewer, actor, citizen, performer... What are our roles? A question that aims to rewrite definitions and asks each of us to be more aware of our responsibilities, if not to become personally engaged.


Julie Bertin
After studying philosophy at the University Paris I-Sorbonne, Julie Bertin joined the Studio Théâtre in Asnières in 2009, before joining the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique two years later. She started her career as a director with an adaptation of Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, before creating Berliner Mauer: vestiges with Jade Herbulot. The company they founded, Le Birgit Ensemble, creates shows that question and recount the story of Europe since 1945. They created a second show, Pour un Prélude (For a Prelude) in 2015, and are finishing a tetralogy called Europe, My Love with Memories of Sarajevo and In the ruins of Athens, both created for the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon. As an actress, Julie Bertin has appeared in Le Dilemme du poisson-chat (The Catfish's Dilemma), written and directed by Kevin Garnichat at the Studio Théâtre in Asnières, and in L'Héritier de village (The Heir of the Village), directed by Sandrine Anglade, created at the centre Georges Simenon in Rosny-sous-Bois, and which toured France in 2016 and 2017.


Jade Herbulot
Like her colleague and teammate, Jade Herbulot joined the Studio Théâtre in Asnières after studying literature at the École normale supérieure in Lyon. Her meeting with Clara Hédouin led to their adapting and directing The Three Musketeers – The series, based on Alexandre Dumas's novel, as a series of shows performed in public places. After training at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique and founding the Birgit Ensemble with Julie Bertin in 2013, they decided to ignore the fourth wall and the contemplative aspect of theatre to create a more direct relationship with the audience and make their active participation an entire aspect of their direction. Their company is made up of artists born between 1986 and 1990, who share an understanding of the world and of the place current topics can have in their work. As an actress, Jade Herbulot has appeared notably in Marivaux's Infidelities at the Théâtre des Quartiers d'Ivry, directed by Adel Hakim (2015), and in an adaptation of The Iliad by director Pauline Bayle (2016), which was created at the Théâtre de Belleville and later toured France.


Design and direction Julie Bertin and Jade Herbulot / Le Birgit Ensemble
Music Grégoire Letouvet, Romain Maron
Stage design Camille Duchemin
Lights Grégoire de Lafond
Video, multimedia Pierre Nouvel
Sound Lucas Lelièvre
Costumes Camille Aït-Allouache
Assistant director Margaux Eskenazi

With Eléonore Arnaud, Julie Bertin, Lou Chauvain, Pauline Deshons, Pierre Duprat,
Anna Fournier, Kevin Garnichat, Jade Herbulot, Lazare Herson-Macarel, Timothée Lepeltier, Élise Lhomeau, Antoine Louvard, Estelle Meyer, Morgane Nairaud, Loïc Riewer, Marie Sambourg


Production Le Birgit Ensemble
Co-production Festival d'Avignon, MC2 : Grenoble, Scène nationale d'Aubusson, Théâtre des Quartiers d'Ivry Centre dramatique national du Val-de-Marne, La Pop, La Comédie de Caen Centre dramatique national, TU-Nantes, Théâtre de Châtillon, Le POC d'Alfortville, Théâtre Gérard Philipe de Champigny-sur-Marne, Les Plateaux Sauvages (Paris), Copilote
With the support of Drac Île-de-France, Conseil départemental du Val-de-Marne, Spedidam, SACD, and for the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon : Adami, Spedidam
With the participation of Jeune théâtre national



Read more



  • The Workshops of thought
With Théâtre/Public

The 2017 archive