Papal Bull

Format/Genre: Full-length farce, satire

Target Audience: Colleges, Professional theatres

Casting: 9M, 2W minimum (can be expanded to 18-20M, 6-8W)

Sets: LOTS - Vatican stage, in/around an Italian country town

Running time: 2-1/2 hours

Synopsis/Review: "Papal Bull is a wickedly satiric romp through the corrupt church-led excesses of the Inquisition. it concerns a wily actor in Renaissance Italy who pretends to be Pope Paul IV and turns a town under the iron fist of the local clergy on its ear. The humor is rooted in the tradition of the English Monty Python group of zanies. It is filled with ruthless irreverence and - make no mistake - some people will certainly be offended.

"The work is brilliantly mounted at the Levin Theatre in true Commedia dell'Arte style by Director Philip Minor. He races his cast at pell mell speed through 11 scenes in 3 acts, pausing only long enough for several of his actors to change costumes and roles (18 actors handle 30 roles) and for the audience to catch its breath. Otherwise, the gags, verbal and sight, come at you relentlessly accompanied by alliterative garbage, fall downs, knockdowns and derring-do. Actors juggle, run, slide, leap, do impressions, rip off clothing and, in general, cavort like Sunday School kids trapped in a tigers's cage. When the hero pleads with the peasantry --"Lepers, at least lend me your ears" -- he is pelted by dozens of rubber ears.  Calculated to offend?  Of course. Calculated to bring howls of laughter?  Oh, my. Yes."

                                                                         Stuart Duncan (producer ,"Godspell)

                                                                         The Princeton (NJ) Packet

Production History:

World premiere, Rutgers University, Levin Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ, April 1989.

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