A real-life husband and wife turn savage in Joanna Murray-Smith’s adaptation of Scenes from a Marriage.

When Paige Rattray directed Switzerland, Joanna Murray-Smith’s thriller about crime writer Patricia Highsmith, for Queensland Theatre in May 2016, she enjoyed working on the play so much that she found herself waxing lyrical about the experience to Artistic Director Sam Strong.

“He said, ‘Joanna’s just sent me [an adaptation of] Scenes from a Marriage, the Ingmar Bergman, I’ll flick it to you,’” recalls Rattray. “I’d put in a few suggestions for different plays to direct [in 2017] but I started reading it and I nearly died! I rang him and said, ‘delete every other script I’ve given you, I have to direct this play!’”

Scenes from a Marriage Marta Dusseldorp and Ben Winspear

What’s more, Rattray knew exactly who she wanted to play the warring married couple at the heart of the play: real-life husband and wife Marta Dusseldorp and Ben Winspear. Whether they’d agree, she wasn’t so sure as she knew how busy they were given Dusseldorp’s full television schedule in A Place to Call Homefor Foxtel and Janet Kingand Jack Irish...