The Two Popes (2022)

  • Main Auditorium
  • 9 September 2022 - 23 September 2022
  • Rose Theatre in association with Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham and Oxford Playhouse present a
    Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Anthology Theatre co-production in association with Tara Finney Productions

The London Premiere
Starring Anton Lesser and Nicholas Woodeson
By Anthony McCarten
Directed by James Dacre



★★★★ 'A compelling new play. McCarten has a gift for creating intimate dramas.' - Sunday Times


From the writer of the Academy Award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour and The Theory of Everything comes the play that sparked a major motion picture.

Nine years ago, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world by resigning, the first Pope in 700 years to do so. What drove this archconservative to break with sacred tradition and make way for a former tango club bouncer and football-loving reformer with the common touch, to become Pope Francis?

Starring Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones, The Crown, Endeavour) and Nicholas Woodeson (Baptiste, The Death of Stalin, The Danish Girl) this gripping and entertaining new play from Anthony McCarten premiered at Royal & Derngate, Northampton in 2019 and was adapted into the multi-award-winning film for which McCarten was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Awards. 

Directed by James Dacre (2020 Olivier Award nominated Our Lady of Kibeho) with original music by Grammy and BRIT Award-winning composer Anne Dudley.

The Two Popes is a fascinating and humorous story that shines a light into one of the world’s most secretive institutions. At its heart lies a timeless question: in moments of crisis, should we follow the rules or our conscience?


★★★★ 'Lesser and Woodeson are, quite simply, divine. A double-headed acting masterclass.' - WhatsOnStage ★★★★ 'Directed with exemplary clarity by James Dacre' - Guardian ★★★★ 'Rhapsodically intense' - Telegraph


Event Details

Running time: 2hrs 5mins, incl. interval
Age guidance: All ages welcome

Press night: Tuesday 13 September, 7.30pm
Friends night: Thursday 15 September, 6:30pm-7:30pm, Rose Café