The Last Confession

The Last Confession Tickets

The Last Confession is a drama/thriller, penned by Roger Crane, which revolves around the election and subsequent death of Pope John Paul I. Based on a true story, Crane offers his own version of the events, which culminated in the new pope’s death, after only thirty three days in office. The play is scheduled to be staged at Los Angeles’s Ahmanson Theater this coming June, where by acquiring The Last Confession tickets, you can catch this absorbing drama live.

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The Last Confession


Roger Crane


Ahmanson Theater

The Last Confession, produced by the Chichester Festival, premiered in 2007 in Chichester, where it was a huge success. Following its original run, it opened in London’s famed West End where it was again a huge success, prompting the producers to take the play on an international tour, where it is scheduled to play in Los Angeles, Toronto and various cities in New Zealand and Australia.


Written by Roger Crane, an American lawyer, the play takes the audience in the Vatican City as a political crisis unfolds following the sudden death of the Pope after only thirty three days in office.

There has always been controversy attached to the death of Pope John Paul I. Conspiracy theorists constantly site murder as a reason for his sudden demise. These theories were given more fuel because of the Vatican’s refusal to give full details of the circumstances surrounding his death and the refusal to allow an autopsy to be carried out.

This thriller explores the dynamics of power and crises of faith that Cardinal Giovanni Benelli has to face after his ensuring that a Pope of his choice is appointed.  


The Last Confession revolves around the political dynamics of the new Pope’s election following the death of his predecessor, Pope Paul VI. Cardinal Giovanni Benelli’s machinations ensure that Cardinal Luciani, a godly, honest and holy man, is elected as the new pope. But his election pits the incorruptible Pope against the politically motivated and power hungry Vatican Curia and the Vatican Bank. A political and ideological collision takes place between conservatism and liberalism and the biggest casualty is the Pope himself, who is found sitting in bed, dead.

The fact that his death takes place the day after he threatens to remove three Cardinals from their posts, adds to the intrigue, which becomes more potent after the Vatican refuses to conduct an autopsy or carry out an investigation, and its press release on the Pope’s death, turns out be, in large part, false.

For Cardinal Benelli, who was instrumental in getting the new Pope elected, and then abandoned him by assuming control of the Curia, it is a tumultuous time, as overwhelming guilt and a lack of faith force him to reveal his role in the whole saga, in his last confession.

David Suchet:

David Suchet stars as Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, the lead role in the play. Suchet is an award winning British actor, who rose to fame by portraying Edward Teller in the television serial Oppenheimer and Augustus Melmotte in the serial The Way We Live Now. A BAFTA nominee, Suchet is perhaps most famous for bringing Agatha Christie’s famed detective Hercule Poirot to life on the television show Agatha Christie's Poirot.

Suchet’s portrayal of Cardinal Benelli, has been critically acclaimed, since he portrays an almost Machiavellian character, but instills in him kindness, benevolence and a haunting sense of grief. A converted catholic himself, Suchet is brilliant at portraying Benelli’s fading belief in faith, and his constant struggle to reconcile his guilt, ambitions and the church.

This searing and gripping drama about the politics and intrigue at the home of Christianity will be a treat to audience members, especially for those who were alive when the real saga took place. This is certainly a play, no theater aficionado can afford to miss out on, so plan accordingly and do not miss the play. 


Interesting Facts about John Paul I:

  • Pope John Paul I’s reign is the tenth shortest papal rule in history.
  • His sudden death led to the first “Year of Three Popes” since 1605.
  • He became the first Pope to abandon the papal coronation process in an attempt to humanize the church.
  • He became the first Pope in history to use two papal names, “John” and “Paul” as his official papal name. 
  • In Italy he is sometimes referred to as “The Smiling Pope” and “The Smile of God”, which the tabloids, like TIME magazine, sometimes refer to him as “the September Pope”.