SWITZERLAND, the edge-of-your-seat theatrical thriller

By Joanna Murray-Smith
21 May – 26 June at Billie Brown Studio, The GreenHouse, QTC
Director: Paige Rattray
Cast: Andrea Moor, Matthew Backer

The late Patricia Highsmith penned some of the most iconic, dark and twisted suspense novels of all time. Now the acerbic author herself is centre stage in this edge-of-your-seat theatrical thriller opening on 21 May at the Bille Brown Studio presented by Queensland Theatre Company.

Dark and generously entertaining, Switzerland stars celebrated actor and director Andrea Moor as the famous American novelist and author Patricia Highsmith, who created timeless crime fiction greats including the novel Strangers on a Train notably adapted for the screen by director Alfred Hitchcock in 1951, and the five novel series following dapper sociopath and serial killer Tom Ripley. More recently her novel The Price of Salt was made into the critically acclaimed movie Carol, starring Cate Blanchett. An acerbic, witty, devastatingly brilliant woman, she was as interesting as the characters she created.

Joining Moor on stage is rising star of Australian stage and screen Matthew Backer, who made is incredible debut out of NIDA playing the lead role of Frankie Valli in the Australian production of the internationally-applauded Jersey Boys in 2011.

Paige Rattray will direct Switzerland, bringing the work of Melbourne playwright Joanna Murray-Smith (Bombshells, Honour, The Female of the Species) to Queensland for the first time.

In Switzerland, Joanna Murray Smith hypothesises on the last night in Highsmith’s life. The story begins with the writer of The Talented Mr. Ripley living the life of a hermit in the Swiss Alps. She cocoons herself within her collection of books and antique weapons; the macabre genius has withdrawn from the world, facing the end of her life. When a young emissary from her publisher intrudes into her sanctum, demanding a contract for one more devastatingly brilliant book, she knows it can only be one story: a final outing for suave, amoral serial killer Tom Ripley. But what happens when the bestselling author’s muse won’t do her bidding anymore?

“Switzerland is a great collaboration between many people, Anthony Spinaze’s stunning set and costume design, Steve Toulmin’s creeping composition, and the exquisite shadows of Ben Hughes’ lighting. Joanna Murray-Smith has provided our fearless actors, Andrea Moor and Matt Backer, characters brimming with intellect – which explore, twist, chew up and form into calculated, mad and layered individuals,” said Paige. “A thriller in its own right, this tale of dark intellect is as intriguing as it is rich in repartee.”

Queensland Theatre Company presents Switzerland
By Joanna Murray-Smith
21 May – 26 June at Billie Brown Studio, QTC (Previews commence 20 May, Opening Night 21 May)
Director: Paige Rattray
Cast Includes: Andrea Moor, Matthew Backer
Tickets are available at queenslandtheatre.com.au or by calling 136 246

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