Andrea Moor on bringing the vivid, uncompromising imagination of Joanna Murray-Smith to the stage.
After premieres in LA and Sydney two years ago, Switzerland is being performed by several companies in Australia this year, a good sign for a new Australian play – what do you think has made it so successful?
Joanna Murray-Smith is an extraordinarily good writer and she writes juicy roles for women particularly well. So given the combination of a brilliantly subversive, complicated subject such as Patricia Highsmith and the vivid, uncompromising imagination of Murray-Smith it’s not surprising that Switzerlandis hot property. I was of course attracted to the role, as I’m sure other actors have been. I have wanted to work on a JM-S script since I performed in her Flame, a hauntingly beautiful piece where a widow confronts the ghost of her husband with some home truths.
Did you have any idea Patricia Highsmith was such a ‘difficult’ personality before you read the script?
I really hadn’t gone down the Highsmith path at all. And now as I read the last of the Ripleynovels I’m seeing so much of her in the writing.
What did you discover about the character from Joanna Murray-Smith’s play?
Joanna always creates the...