Judas

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Five-act play.
First performance at Théâtre de Paris (October 6th, 1955).

First Edition

Monte-Carlo, Pastorelly, 1955.

Preface

"Judas character is that of the traitor in the Revelation divine tragedy, the last act of which is Passion. He has been considered for centuries as the greatest criminal of all times.
What do we actually know about him?
The Gospels say almost nothing of him before the dinner in Bethany episode. It seems however certain that he was young and handsome, that he had a family and that his father was named Simon.
It is also believed that he was a potter.
Jesus himself elected him as one of the twelve apostles and entrusted him with the community purse: that is, Judas was in charge of supply management for the small group of wanderers, and was the first servant of the Messiah. In a spiritual perspective, he was granted the same powers as his brothers. He taught the masses, baptized people, chased the devils away, cured the sick and followed his Master in his wandering preaching across towns, villages, mountains and deserts.
Yet, it is historically known that he led soldiers all the way to his Master's camp, that he denounced him through a kiss and that he received thirty pieces of silver for his services.
Later, after his successful betrayal, he cast the price of blood and hanged himself. From a police standpoint, experts (including an examining magistrate) told me:
"This case does not make sense, and there must be something else."

Main initial performers

Raymond Pellegrin - Judas
Jean Servais - Phocas
Jean Chevrier - Ponce Pilate
Marcel Daxely - Le centurion
Jean Hervé - Caïphe
Micheline Méritz - Rébecca
Suzanne Rissler - La mère
France Delahalle - Claudia

PILATE
...Has the defendant arrived?

A SLAVE
Yes, my Lord, the Messiah is here.

PILATE
What did you say?

THE SLAVE (solemnly)
My Lord, the Son of God is in the court, and judgment is planned for later today.

PHOCAS (to the slave)
Do you know this carpenter?

THE SLAVE
No! I have just seen him for the first time, but I knew his word.

PILATE
Where have you heard it?

THE SLAVE
A sailor in the port had repeated the Good News to me. But he was joking and mocking. He would not understand the message, the way somebody would carry a letter without opening it. I understood, and I know.

PILATE
Do you believe he is the King of the Jews?

THE SLAVE (fervently)
I believe that if I go through the woes of this life with a pure heart, I will enter Jesus Christ kingdom as a free man.

JUDAS
Amen! That m an has understood.

PILATE (to the slave)
Go.
The slave goes out.

PHOCAS
These ideas have gained ground already.

MARPHURIUS
It is just like mumps. It is very catching.

PHOCAS
And it spreads rapidly. Particularly among common people and slaves.
Usually among poorly-fed people.

JUDAS
The one who only ever thinks about feeding his flesh is only preparing a bigger corpse. Jesus has come to feed souls, and he despises the worldly goods that nobody takes to Heaven.
Two servants bring the judge's large scarlet robe. They dress Pilate with it during next cues.

PILATE
Why did you want to see me?

JUDAS
For you are man of fair judgment! I know that last night you said to the priests: "I see no crime in that man." Therefore I thought that I had to warn you: your mission is even more difficult than mine... Pilate, you are in danger.