Joanna Murray-Smith’s plays have taken her around the world. With more than 20 dramas to her name – among them Switzerland(about crime novelist Patricia Highsmith), Fury, The Female of the Species, Bombshells, and Honour(which has been staged on Broadway and in London’s West End) – she is one of Australia’s most prolific, popular and internationally successful playwrights.

L'appartment, Queensland Theatre Pacharo Mzembe, Melanie Zanetti, Joanna Murray Smith, Andrew Buchanan, Liz Buchanan. Photo © David Kelly

Her latest play, L’Appartement, premieres this month at Queensland Theatre, where audiences will experience a double shot of Murray-Smith as she is also making her directorial debut.

“It was actually [Artistic Director] Sam Strong’s idea,” says Murray-Smith. “He commissioned the play, then when they committed to producing it, he [said,] ‘actually I’m wondering whether it isn’t time for you to direct?’ Since my mother died five or six years ago, I have tended to think differently about new experiences, and things I would have normally shied away from because they’re not who I’ve become or not what I do, I’ve sort of started to think, ‘maybe I should, I’m getting older’. And so I thought, well at...