Entitled “Karol”, this is the first project of its kind by Polish writers, directors and musicians. The show’s premiere is scheduled for 27 February 2017 in the Tauron Arena in Kraków, southern Poland.
Over 500 tickets have been sold in the first week of online bookings.
At a press conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, a day before the second anniversary of John Paul II’s canonization, the author of script and song lyrics, Michał Kaczmarczyk, said the musical would chart the life of Karol Wojtyła, who in 1978 became Pope John Paul II.
The musical will be set against a panorama of key events in Polish history.
These include the tragedy of World War II, the communist period with its highly complex relationship between the regime and the Church, the Solidarity revolution and the collapse of communism.
Act I focuses on Wojtyła’s early years in Wadowice, his birthplace in southern Poland, and in Kraków. Act II tells his story from his decision to become a priest at the end of World War II to his death in 2005.
The music is by Filip Siejka, whose credentials include hits by some of Poland’s top singers, including Zbigniew Wodecki and the groups Feel and Perfect.
Actor and singer Jacek Kawalec, who appears as the pope, told Radio Poland: “For me as an actor, the most important thing is to play a man […] not only a priest, but above all a man who played sports, had fun with his friends, and loved the theatre.”
The cast of “Karol” includes Anna Wyszkoni, Agata Nizińska, and Edyta Geppert as guest star.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Kraków, who served as the late pope’s personal secretary, is an honorary patron of the production. (mk/pk)