“Pope Joan” is a stage version of the internationally highly successful novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross and the German-British movie by Sönke Wortmann. This production is being brought to you by Actinghouse Productions, with the participation of Irene Christ, artistic director/actress from Germany who was worked at prestigious theatres in Germany and Malta.

The story is based on the legend of a female pope during the early medieval period. A very talented girl is born – who is not welcomed in a world where being female is viewed as a big disappointment and of little value. This girl soon learns how to read and write by herself, along with a little help by her brother – a big sin in the eyes of her father, the village priest. A teacher from a church school discovers her talent and helps her to get an education. The opportunities to study are very limited for women though, so she decides to disguise herself as a boy and live as a monk.

Thanks to her sharp intelligence and great talents as a healer she climbs her way up the hierarchy, always insisting to work for the less privileged and therefore loved by some and hated by others. On the way we learn a lot about politics in Rome in those days. The young woman eventually gets elected pope; however things do not turn out well.

This theatrical piece will be performed on different stages with different levels, and will include an artistic play with light. Live music based on the medieval period mixed with sounds supporting the atmosphere by Andrew Alamango (Etnika) will accompany the work, while there will also be projections and elements of film by Chris Zarb. The project will be a collaboration between Maltese and German artists and will involve experienced people and also newcomers from Maltese drama schools.

This project is endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.