From this is London:
Perhaps it’s the Da Vinci Code or Dan Brown or a fascination with Opus Dei, but I’ve been stunned by the amazing response,” says David Suchet, star of a gripping mystery thriller about to open in the West End following rave reviews at its Chichester premiere last month. “Letters and messages have been pouring in. It’s touched a nerve.”
A pontiff found unexpectedly dead in bed, a crisis of faith and a nest of vipers in the Vatican – these are the fantastical true-life ingredients for Roger Crane’s new play The Last Confession, about Pope John Paul I (Albino Luciano), the “smiling” Italian who occupied St Peter’s throne in 1978 for only 33 days. Just weeks after his triumph as a burly, gravel-voiced Robert Maxwell in the BBC2 drama about the late tycoon, Suchet is tackling another fact-based role that once again centres around a sudden, unexplained death.
Swathed in gorgeous scarlet, crucifix swinging, this brilliantly versatile actor plays Cardinal Benelli, who persuaded the reluctant John Paul to accept the Papacy then felt responsible for his early demise.
“At the simplest level,” Suchet explains, “this is a dark thriller about who murdered John Paul I, the Church’s only really liberal, reforming and modernising Pope – if, indeed, he was murdered. On another, it’s about one man’s loss of faith, his bitterness and confusion, and a power struggle at the heart of the Catholic Church.”