By Roger Crane
Cast includes David Suchet
1978: a little-known Cardinal from Venice is elected to succeed Pope Paul VI. A compromise candidate, he takes the name Pope John Paul I, and quickly shows himself to be the liberal the reactionaries within the Catholic Church most feared.
Just thirty-three days later, he is dead. No official investigation is conducted, no autopsy is performed, and the Vatican’s press release about the cause of death is later found to be, in large part, false. And just the evening before his death, John Paul had warned three of his most influential but hostile Cardinals that they would be replaced.
His death marks the climax of fifteen troubled years of controversy and machination within the Church’ schisms threaten its unity and the shadow of the Mafia hovers over its financial affairs. Only Cardinal Benelli has the power to challenge the dead Pope’s enemies.
This incisive new thriller tracks the dramatic tensions, crises of faith and political manoeuvrings inside the Vatican surrounding the death of the man known as ‘the Smiling Pope’
David Suchet plays Cardinal Benelli. One of the UK’s leading actors, his many roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company include Shylock, Iago, and Caliban. His numerous West End credits include Amadeus, Oleanna and Separation. He is widely known to television audiences from such series as Blott on the Landscape, The Way We Live Now, National Crime Squad and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.