Anthology Theatre are excited to announce its co-production of new play The Pope by Golden Globe and BAFTA award winning writer Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Theory Of Everything, Darkest Hour) starring Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones, The Crown, Wolf Hall) as Pope Benedict. The play will feature original music composed by BRIT, Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Anne Dudley. The Pope is a co-production with Royal and Derngate Northampton, where it will premiere in June, and in association with Tara Finney Productions.
The original play is the inspiration for a major motion picture of the same name that has been adapted by McCarten to premiere on Netflix later this year.
Six years ago Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world by quietly announcing he would resign, the first pope in 700 years to do so. What drove this arch-conservative to break with sacred tradition and cede the way for Cardinal Bergoglio – a tango-dancing, football-loving reformer with the common touch – to become Pope Francis, one of most powerful men on earth?
Together, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bergoglio grapple with their complex pasts and uncertain futures. From coming of age under dictatorships in Germany and Argentina, to the scandal of sexual abuse by the clergy – they offer two opposing visions for the Church today. Shining a light into one of the world’s most secretive institutions, The Pope is at once a candid portrayal of two men testing the limits of their faith and an exploration of the role of religion in an age of social and political upheaval. At its heart lies a timeless question: in moments of crisis, should we follow the rules or our conscience?