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Switzerland, Featuring Laura Linney and Seth Numrich, Begins Tonight

Sydney Theatre Company and Geffen Playhouse present the world premiere of Joanna Murray-Smith's play.

Laura Linney plays Patricia Highsmith in Switzerland at the Geffen Playhouse.
(courtesy of the production)

Geffen Playhouse and Sydney Theatre Company presentation of Switzerland by Joanna Murray-Smith starts tonight. Centering on Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, the play sets the scene of her reclusive life in Switzerland. That life is interrupted when a young man from New York comes to visit. He is an emissary from a publishing house, who has come to persuade her to write the next installment in her Mr. Ripley stories. She greets him with her standard caustic wit and dark imagination, but the emissary proves he is able to go toe to toe with the great author.

Directed by Mark Brokaw and written by Joanna Murray-Smith, the show features Laura Linney and Seth Numrich.

"The more I knew about Patricia Highsmith, the more obsessed I became by her," said Murray-Smith. "Part of the pull of her character was that she was in many ways an utterly vicious and unlikeable person, deeply unkind, irascible, and self-important but she was simultaneously one of the great, great psychological writers of the 20th century. Part of her brilliance was that she understood evil and its place within the ambiguity of human beings – how we can present as one thing and be something else. She knew – and evoked in her writing – how we all have deeply troubling characteristics – envy, cruelty, aspirations that make us transgress. She embodied that truth and it was fundamental to her creativity."

The creative team includes Lap Chi Chu (light design), Anthony T. Fanning (set design), Ellen McCartney (costume design), John Ballinger (sound design), and Cate Cundiff (stage manager).

Performances will run through April 19.

For tickets and more information, click here.

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