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The Last Confession

Finished Jul 6, 2014

Ahmanson Theater

A play that manages the rare feat of being as intelligent as it is thrilling.

The Last Confession

Finished Jul 6, 2014

Ahmanson Theater

A play that manages the rare feat of being as intelligent as it is thrilling.

Why see The Last Confession?

An unflinching and searing drama recounting the mystery shrouding the events as told by their ultimate witness: Cardinal Benelli, who engineered John Paul I's ascent. This provocative thriller explores the machinations of power amid crises of faith and the struggle to conceal the truth at any cost.

It's 1978, and a little-known country priest is crowned Pope John Paul I in an uneasy compromise. Just 33 days later, before he can set his liberal reforms into place, "the Smiling Pope" is found dead: one day after he threatened to remove three prominent Cardinals from their posts. No investigation or autopsy is performed, and a Vatican press release about the cause of his death is later proven to be, in large part, false.

Key Information

Covid 19 secure

You may be required to have had a COVID vaccine in order to attend this performance or show proof of a negative test. Please contact the venue directly for more information on this.


Recommended for children age 13+

Run Time

2 hrs 15 min including intermission


Finished Jul 6, 2014


David Suchet

Brian Bedford


Written By Roger Crane

Directed by Jonathan Church


Customer reviews

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

Joanne Marentette

Riveting Tale of Intrigue in the Vatican

The Last Confession's opening at Easter was timely due to its setting in the Vatican, but this tale of power struggles, scandal, and internal conflict could also be set in a government or a large corporation. The central figure of the story is the ambitious Cardinal Benelli, played superbly by David Suchet, who has assumed religious vestments for the role after bidding farewell to Poirot's morning suits, hat, and cane at the end of filming Agatha Christie's canon of mystery stories. Benelli takes us through events leading to the election and then the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I, considered an alarming liberal by some, after only 33 days on the job in 1978. As Benelli delves into the circumstances surrounding the death of the Pope and into the hearts of the people involved, we are drawn into his personal conflicts with his colleagues, his Church, and ultimately, with himself. Will his faith be strong enough to guide him to a resolution? A riveting tale with a strong cast. ... Read more
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