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Anton Lesser to play the Pope Benedict at Royal and Derngate in Northampton

The piece is written by Anthony McCarten and has music by Anne Dudley

Anton Lesser was last on stage in 2009
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Anton Lesser will return to the stage for the first time in over a decade to play the Pope in a new play entitled The Pope.

Directed by Royal and Derngate's artistic director James Dacre, The Pope is written by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Theory of Everything). It follows Pope Benedict XVI as he decides to resign from his position – the first pope in 700 years to do so.

The 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.

Award-winning composer Anne Dudley (American History X, Poldark) will create original music for The Pope, and the production will be designed by Jonathan Fensom (Farinelli and the King) with lighting by Charles Balfour (Mojo).

Lesser's credits include Game of Thrones, The Hollow Crown and Wolf Hall, and he was last on stage in A Doll's House.

The Pope runs from 8 to 22 June at the Northampton theatre.