Actor rises from Poirot to the Papacy

David Suchet bishop role

David Suchet has extracted plenty of confessions in his 25 years as TV detective Hercule Poirot, but his first stage play in Perth is an entirely different whodunit. Suchet leads an international cast in Roger Crane's drama The Last Confession.

- The West Australian.

The robe-and-dagger plot acts out the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I, just 33 days after he was appointed in 1978.

Suchet appears as Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, who helped install the Pope and sets out to find the truth after other Vatican officials refused to investigate.

The British actor said audiences should not be deterred by the religious setting because the play was a riveting political thriller whose backdrop happened to be the Catholic Church.

'One of the great things about this play is that audiences coming to it who know nothing about the history of what happened, are suddenly confronted on stage with people like me walking around dressed like this and they may think, "Oh gosh, have we come to a religious play. It's called The Last Confession, what is it? We know David Suchet is in it and we like him as Poirot," but then they forget and they are drawn into the world of the Vatican and it has got nothing to do with religion at all. 

'This has to do with power and politics. Although the Vatican closed the doors on this particular situation, this play has opened the audience's mind to the intrigue and possibility of what was going on.'

FULL STORY From Poirot to the papacy (The West Australian)

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