Pope Joan – a prodigy who chose to defy all odds; Teatru Malta’s summer production

Darrin Zammit Lupi

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Teatru Malta, together with the Malta International Arts Festival, will be presenting the highly anticipated summer production Pope Joan at the Mdina Ditch on the 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th July.

Directed by German born Irene Christ, this show, which forms part of the highly anticipated summer festival, will mark her return to directing locally since 2008’s smash hit Tattoo by Dea Loher.

Christ is no stranger to the local theatre scene and has been working as both an actress and director here and overseas for a number of years. This exciting open air show, has been in the works for months with lead actress Maria Buckle rehearsing together with the rest of the talented cast to tell the story of a prodigy who chooses to defy all odds by challenging the highly conservative male-dominated society she was born into.

Darrin Zammit Lupi

Joan is a defiant and determined female who will stop at nothing to acquire the knowledge she’s been so unfairly denied of. Why? Because she was a woman, a woman who refused to concede to the constraints that were imposed upon her. Instead she focused on learning to read behind her father’s back by disguising herself as a boy to further her learning at a monastery where she would be accepted as a male monk until eventually becoming, as legend has it, the first and only female Pope to have ever lived.

Christ is no stranger to tackling hot topics such as feminism, gender identity or religion so we’re all on our toes to see how she intends on interpreting this piece based on the novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross in the stage version by Susanne Felicitas Wolf.

Darrin Zammit Lupi

This premiere will mark the first time this production will be performed in English, and what a star-studded cast to do it: Antonella Axisa, Chris Galea, Faye Paris, Alan Paris, Mikhail Basmadjian, Alex Weenink, Michael Mangion, Joe Depasquale, Stephen Mintoff and Peter Galea will all have main parts along with young actors Ileana Sammut, Julian Zammit and Miguel Azzopardi, with costumes and production design by Joachim Hamster Damm.

Pope Joan is made possible with the support of Festivals Malta, The Malta International Arts Festival, Arts Council Malta under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice Culture and Local Government, the Restoration Directorate Rehabilitation Project, Goethe Institute, U.S Embassy and The German Maltese Circle.

Shows will begin at 8.30 pm and are suitable for audiences over the age of 14. For tickets and more information on Pope Joan visit The MIAF website or the Facebook event page.