Switzerland paints a portrait of one of the great writers of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith, famed for writing The Talented Mr Ripley, Strangers On A Train and The Price of Salt. The play originally premiered in Australia in 2015 where it won Best New Australian Work at the Sydney Theatre Awards.
1995, the Swiss Alps. Patricia Highsmith, the queen of the thriller, now ageing and ailing, hides away in her study, surrounded by her collection of books and antique weaponry, finding solace in her seclusion, her cats and cigarettes. A polished young man turns up, sent by her New York publisher to persuade the great writer to pen one final instalment of her best-selling series featuring the master manipulator, Tom Ripley. But as day breaks over the mountains, it becomes clear that the charming stranger is set on a far more sinister mission.
The audience is drawn ever deeper down the rabbit hole of Joanna Murray Smith’s intense writing
Lucy Bailey’s production is clear, concise and clinical, all the drama occurs in the exchanges between these two characters
Patricia Highsmith is an intriguing subject; she was a one-off, but there’s something that just doesn’t quite work here
This is deathly dull stuff. Firstly, the two characters are so unappealing — and not in a sparkling, excitement-of-evil way — that it’s perplexing to be asked to spend time with them
Disappointing psychological teaser about the talented Miss Highsmith
All in all, Switzerland is a baffling play that does, however, sport top-billed performances
Joanna Murray-Smith’s drama explores the relationship between the author and her work