1948. Monsignor Hugh Oâ€™Flaherty visits a prison in Southern Italy where the infamous Nazi, Herbert Kappler, is serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity. As head of the Gestapo in occupied Rome in 1944, acting under direct orders of Adolf Hitler, Kappler was responsible for the Ardeatine massacre of World War Two, killing 335 Italian citizens at the Ardeatine Caves. Monsignor Oâ€™Flaherty spent the war years working at the Vatican, famously sheltering thousands of Allied servicemen and Jews from Kappler and the German occupiers. Often dubbed â€œThe Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vaticanâ€ Kappler placed a bounty on his head, but Oâ€™Flaherty successfully evaded capture. When these two men meet, the war is lived out again as profound questions of responsibility and redemption rattle the cages. This play confronts the evil forces behind the ruthless acts of wartime Rome and questions the role and morality of those who followed orders.
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