by Anthony McCarten

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?


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?


The inspiration for an upcoming major motion picture from Netflix, The Pope received its world premiere at Royal & Derngate on 8 - 22 June 2019.

Cast & Crew


Sister Sophia Faith Alabi

Sister Brigitta Lynsey Beauchamp

Pope Benedict Anton Lesser

Cardinal Bergoglio Nicholas Woodeson


Director James Dacre
Designer Jonathan Fensom

Composer Anne Dudley
Lighting Designer Charles Balfour
Sound Designer David Gregory

Projection Designer Duncan McLean


A co-production with Royal & Derngate and Anthology Theatre











"Lesser and Woodesoon are, quite simply, divine" 

★★★★ Whats On Stage


"A rhapsodically intense response to an ecclesiastical crisis" 

★★★★ Daily Telegraph


"Directed with exemplary clarity by James Darce and Stirringly acted."

★★★★ The Guardian 


"McCarten has a gift for Creative intimate dramas"

★★★★ Sunday Times


"Anthony McCarten's Absorbing new play." 

★★★★ Daily Mail


"Avery timely, masterly and unusable piece of work." 

★★★★★ Review Hub


"McCarten has created a fascinating work of Art" 

★★★★★ West End Wilma