Mirvish Productions announced today that Stratford veteran Brian Bedford would have to withdraw from the upcoming production of The Last Confession due to illness, and he will be replaced by West End actor Richard O’Callaghan who created the part of Pope John Paul I in the London production and starred opposite David Suchet (who will perform the role in Toronto as well). Interestingly Bedford also needed to withdraw from Merchant of Venice at last season’s Stratford Festival.
The hotly anticipated show received rave reviews when it played at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London, and it explores the mystery shrouding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. Found dead a mere 33 days after being elected, suspicions arose concerning the circumstances of the Pope’s untimely demise. Cardinal Benelli (David Suchet) was the only to investigate the issue, and The Last Confession explores the drama which ensued.
When Suchet was announced to be performing the role of Cardinal Benelli in Toronto, audiences were understandably excited considering the actor’s pedigree ( he is internationally famous for playing Hercule Poirot in the award-winning TV series of the same name), and equally exciting was the news that Bedford would play opposite him.
Producer Paul Elliot was quoted today saying “It is a great shame that Brian Bedford cannot be with us for this unique adventure; we wish him a good and swift recovery. We are fortunate and excited to have Richard O’Callaghan reprising his acclaimed London performance.”
The reviews for O’Callaghan’s performance in London were excellent, and Toronto audiences will now have the unique opportunity of getting two see both actors play the roles they originated – something which doesn’t often happen when it comes to shows that have their roots in London.
The Last Confession will begin it’s World Tour in Toronto on April 19th at The Royal Alexandra Theatre before continuing to both Los Angeles and Australia.
For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.mirvish.com or call 416-872-1212