In STC’s latest production Switzerland, playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and Director Sarah Goodes craft a thriller about the master of crime-thrillers, Patricia Highsmith.
Held up in a house in the Swiss Alps, the hardened and eccentric writer (Sarah Peirse) lives in the secluded company of her cats, guns and books. But her isolated retreat is disrupted when a representative of the publishing house comes to extricate a final novel in Highsmith’s famous Ripley series.
Eamon Farren stars as the young man who launches into this “war of the wits and morals”. Based on the writer and often-controversial figure, Farren is conscious of what makes Highsmith such a unique subject. He says, “she’s one of the most fascinating women of the 21st Century, a complex and layered woman… which was all reflected in her work.”
As was the case in her personal life and work, there seemed to be a precarious marriage between fiction and reality. Farren points out “it is the balance between naturalism and an undercurrent of threat”, a sustained and chilling undertone that something is about to break. Switzerland explores, “what it takes for someone to cross that line and what little it takes to become a killer.” (ATS)
Nov 3-Dec 27, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $55-90, sydneytheatre.com.au