Director’s Note: Shaun Rennie, SWITZERLAND

17 Apr 2024

Edward: You know, only you pulled it off – at least in modern times: the complete corruption of the reader.

Patricia: It’s called good writing.

Joanna Murray-Smith’s SWITZERLAND is a captivating exploration of Patricia Highsmith, the literary titan who enthralled readers with tales of murder, intrigue, and the darkest corners of the human psyche. SWITZERLAND delves into the complexities that shaped both Highsmith’s life and her work.

Murray-Smith delves into the mind of a master. Highsmith’s brilliance is undeniable, but so is the fascinating tapestry of her personality. A nuanced portrayal that captures her reclusiveness and the challenges she faced, all while showcasing the captivating intellect that fuelled her writing. The play explores the contradictions that defined her – a charming wit with a sharp edge, a genius shrouded in secrecy.

However, SWITZERLAND isn’t just about Highsmith, it’s a mirror reflecting our own societal fascination with darkness. Why are we drawn to stories of murder and violence, even as they repel us? The play delves into this paradox, prompting us to examine empathy, morality, and the strength of the human psyche when confronted with violence. Can we truly stare into the darkness, or does it lurk within us all?

SWITZERLAND is also a testament to the power of storytelling and the enigmatic nature of creativity. The act of creation is akin to playing God. One gets to create worlds, people, and circumstances. What would you do if you had that power?

It has been such joy to work on this play, at this theatre, with two brilliant actors and an incredible creative team. I want to thank them all for bringing their sharp intellects to the project every day and for their faith and trust.

Shaun Rennie

Playing 3 May – 8 Jun, don’t miss Joanna Murray-Smith’s dark psychological thriller SWITZERLAND.