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Photo credit: Brett Boardman

Review Roundup: “Switzerland” at Sydney Theatre Company

Patricia Highsmith, master of the macabre in books like Strangers on a Trainand The Talented Mr. Ripley, is racing to finish her novel when an attractive young man arrives representing her impatient publisher. Anxious to be rid of him and return to self-imposed exile, she attempts to terrorize him into fleeing. But he has a dark agenda of his own and will not leave until the final chapter is written.

Switzerland is a new Geffen Playhouse commission, and it shares its world premiere with Sydney Theatre Company. The Geffen’s production opens March 3, but STC’s is in its final days after playing to rave reviews.

But don’t take our word for it …


“This dark, generously entertaining new play by Joanna Murray-Smith gets the sleek premiere it deserves. Everything about it shouts quality. Something about it whispers ‘Broadway potential.’ Presented as a straight-through and engrossing 100 minutes, Sarah Goodes’ production is handsome and draws you into Highsmith’s world completely.” Read more here.


“What happens in the end is worthy of the never-written sixth Ripley novel and Murray-Smith’s daring in putting words and prose into the mouth of one of literature’s great stylists is rewarded. Switzerland is a marvelous new play and this production is equal to it. Not to be missed.” Read more here.


“In Honour and Fury Murray-Smith created damaged domestic scenarios populated with self-involved, self-satisfied middle-class intellectuals struggling with gender and sexual politics, marital crisis and career failures. Her Highsmith is a far more intriguing beast, a truly unusual woman in life and in theatre … This is a really interesting character. And her relationship with the young man is fascinating — again, something you rarely see on stage. … a very elegant, entertaining production.” Read more here.


“As promised in the show’s chilling promotional shots, Sarah Peirse and Eamon Farren dance dangerously with the ambiguities of their characters (sexual or otherwise) throughout. And Murray-Smith, whose work is sometimes criticised for focusing on her own bourgois background, is somehow liberated by her biographical subject to reflect on far reaching themes of love, death and identity … the play not only sees Murray-Smith on top form but already suggests itself as a film …” Read more here.


“It’s impossible to know what Highsmith herself would have made of the play. But it’s not hard to imagine her delighting in its intelligence, humour, darkness and gentle unravelling. It’s a truly great new play.” Read more here.

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“Joanna Murray-Smith’s new play Switzerland, a gripping psychological thriller about ­renowned crime writer Patricia Highsmith, creeps up on you and then has you on the edge of your seat.” Read more here.

Purchase tickets for the Geffen Playhouse’s production of Switzerland here.

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