The Last Confession
Never before has a story with such big ideas and bigger questions elevated the Toronto stage. ‘The Last Confession,’ now playing The Royal Alex until June 1, is a stunning example of narrative glory and grace.

Humorously Inviting and Dramatically Omnipotent

You don’t have to be religious to know how cathartic an act of confession can be. Not only does a humble admission of error suppress guilt, the end result is a soul purging exercise that often leaves a person at peace with one’s self. And if you thought for one moment that transgressions were a rare event at the Vatican, do think again.

If Cardinal Giovanni Binelli (David Suchet) makes any mistake in the heavenly staging of The Last Confession it’s failing to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. A persuasive dramatization of power, corruption and lies, the presentation imagines the conversations that took place between Catholic leadership when a church’s ‘labyrinth of rigid rules’ got in the way of one pontiff’s mission to alter the direction of an organization boasting 2,000 years of tradition while initiating some modest spiritual house cleaning.

This is after all a stark portrayal of Vatican discord when Pope Jean Paul ( Richard O’Callaghan) secures papacy, the suspicious events surrounding his death after a 33 day reign, and the unanswered questions that linger.

It’s doubtful you’ve ever bore witness to a performance superior to what legendary actor David Suchet delivers in his daunting search for truth and faith. There are moments you literally forget you are watching a play and acquiesce completely to the raw emotion that propels him.

As His Holiness, Richard O’Callaghan’s righteous convictions as a man with the best intentions for his global flock are impossible to overlook. And when it comes time for the actor to politely inform selected insiders of their future within the organization, you can’t help but grin over his curious ability to redefine compassion.

Without exception, The Last Confession is what happens when unbiased research of facts merges with a true passion of storytelling. Humorously inviting and dramatically omnipotent, playwright Roger Crane’s offering is both immaculately explored and theatrically tasteful.

Review by Steven Berketo

By Roger Crane
Apr. 19 – Jun 1, 2014
Royal Alexandra Theatre
260 King Street W., Toronto
Tickets $35.00 – $119.00

CAST: David Suchet, Richard O’Callaghan, David Bannerman, Pier Carthew, Donald Douglas, Mark Hammersley, Roy Lewis, Nigel Bennett, Kevin Colson, Sheila Ferris, Peter Harding, Bernard Lloyd, John O’May, George Spartels, Ezra Bix, Philip Craig, David Ferry, Marvin Ishmael, Stuart Milligan, Sam Parks

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Church

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