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Switzerland

Switzerland
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Joanna Murray-Smith
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 49
Pub. Date: 2015
ISBN-10: 0822234351
ISBN-13: 9780822234357
Cast Size: 1 woman, 1 man

About the Play:

Switzerland is a full-length thriller by Joanna Murray-Smith. Somewhere in the Swiss alps, a grande dame of best-selling crime literature lives with an impressive collection of books, and a somewhat sinister collection of guns and knives. She finds solace in her seclusion, her cats and cigarettes. But when a mysterious international visitor barges in to her home unannounced, will her love of fictional murders become a dangerous reality?

Switzerland takes elements from the real life of renowned master crime novelist Patricia Highsmith and turns them into a thought provoking and engrossing thriller. Her books are the source of many cinematic adaptations – The Two Faces of January, The Talented Mr Ripley, Strangers on a Train – but in Switzerland the tables are turned and it is Patricia Highsmith herself who is the central character. It's 1995 in the Swiss Alps and the ailing reclusive crime writer Patricia Highsmith is visited by a genial young man from the office of her New York publisher, sent to convince her to write the final instalment of her best-selling Mr. Ripley series. What first appears to be a standard cat-and-mouse game of wit and wiles, soon becomes a dance to the death. Who is the cat and who is the mouse? And who will make it out of Switzerland alive? A chilling and sometimes hilarious two-hander, with Joanna Murray-Smith's signature lucid-lettered prose.

Switzerland premiered in 2014 at the Drama Theatre in the Sydney Opera House by Sydney Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. The US premiere was in 2015 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The play has been performed in regional, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

What people say:

"Switzerland is arguably Murray-Smith's best play yet, and certainly one of her most entertaining... Whether you're a mad Highsmith fan, or you've never heard of her, you'll be chilled and gripped, amused and seduced by this pitch-perfect psychological thriller." — The Sydney Morning Herald

"Writers of crime fiction are rarely as brutal or twisted as the characters they create. But meet Patricia Highsmith, by general agreement a foul-mouthed misanthrope who spent decades detailing the psychotic narcissism lurking in humanity's dark heart… Switzerland will likely send spectators giddily speeding back to such novels as Strangers on a Train and…The Talented Mr. Ripley." — Variety

" Switzerland [is] an act of homage by way of larceny, appropriating Highsmith the real person as a fictional character in one of her own queasy dramas. The play hinges on an irresistible conceit…Murray-Smith has great fun emulating Highsmith's terse, caustic register… Switzerland is obviously an act of identification: one writer wrestling with a creation wrestling with her most famous creation of al." — Time Out (New York)

"[Switzerland] explores what it's like to be a woman writer in a man's literary kingdom…Murray-Smith's dialogue sparkles with witty one-liners and delicious snark… But she also suffers from that peculiar mix of ego and insecurity that fuels many of the greatest writers; she has vulnerable spots." — Time Out (Sydney)

"Murray-Smith's work has never been darker or more compelling… 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 play." — Daily Review (Australia)

About the Playwright:

Joanna Murray-Smith is a Melbourne-based Australian playwright, screenwriter, novelist, librettist and newspaper columnist. One of Australia's most successful playwrights, she has written more than 20 plays and they have been translated and performed in 30 countries around the world.

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