The show takes place in the third-century Roman Empire where Christians are being hunted down. Cockian the clown finds himself face-to-face with a rigid Commander who has declared that Cockian should be sent to his death. Luckily, the Commander grows to like Cockian and grants him his life – on one condition. He commands that Cockian must impersonate a missing Christian leader, Philemon, to enable the Roman Empire to catch and execute more Christians. With no choice, Cockian does the Commander's bidding, but in doing so begins to feel sorry for the persecuted. Cockian "becomes" Philemon, overflowing with love and the hope for a more humane world, thus earning his redemption and his death.