The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd - Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 21st November 2013

Last night we had the privilege of attending the opening night of the Irish premiere of The Last Confession by Roger Crane, presented by the Rhetoric Players, under the direction of Mr Tom Carroll. A fuller and more reflective review will appear on this site later from the pen of local boy made good (Goodman actually – Tom of last year’s thespian success in Clongowes) but for the present we would strongly urge you to take the opportunity to see the last two performances in the school tonight (Friday 22nd) and tomorrow.

There is much to marvel at in the production, from the wonderful set to the performances of a talented ensemble cast, for many of whom last night was their first time to experience the smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd. Well, rapt attention might be a better description as the audience (the majority of which was from Third Line) was held spellbound by the twists and turns of this taut, political thriller.

First amongst equals in a team effort were Tom Cantillon and Dillon Hennessy, both of whom knocked our socks off and one of whom made us laugh out loud on more than one occasion.

Don’t take our word for it; go along tonight (or tomorrow) and support this worthy effort. The boys (and staff) involved deserve no less and it won’t cost you a bob.

Mr Declan O’Keeffe


The Vatican – 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. In addition, 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.

If you want to find out more turn up in Clongowes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week at 19.00 where the Rhetoric Players, under the talented direction of Mr Tom Carroll, will present The Last Confession by Roger Crane. This incisive 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’.

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