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Switzerland, starring Phyllis Logan, transfers to the West End

Calum Finlay and Phyllis Logan. Photo credit: Nobby Clark.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AWARD-winning psychological thriller Switzerland is transferring to the West End. Written by Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Lucy Bailey, it will run at the Ambassadors Theatre from Saturday, November 10, 2018 to Saturday, January 5, 2019.

This critically-acclaimed production, which starred Phyllis Logan as renowned author Patricia Highsmith and Calum Finlay as Edward Ridgeway, ran at Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio earlier this year and marks the second production from Jonathan Church’s 2018 summer season to confirm a West End transfer.

Both Logan and Finlay will reprise their roles in the West End.

Switzerland paints a portrait of one of the great writers of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith, famed for writing The Talented Mr Ripley, Strangers On A Train and The Price of Salt. The play originally premiered in Australia in 2015 where it won Best New Australian Work at the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Switzerland is set in 1995 in the Swiss Alps. Patricia Highsmith, the queen of the thriller, now ageing and ailing, hides away in her study, surrounded by her collection of books and antique weaponry, finding solace in her seclusion, her cats and cigarettes.

A polished young man turns up, sent by her New York publisher to persuade the great writer to pen one final instalment of her best-selling series featuring the master manipulator, Tom Ripley. But as day breaks over the mountains, it becomes clear that the charming stranger is set on a far more sinister mission.

Phyllis Logan is well-known for her role as Mrs Hughes in ITV’s Downton Abbey and as Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy. Her other extensive television credits include Girlfriends, The Good Karma Hospital, Bones, Wallander, Silent Witness and Vera. She has also appeared in the films Secrets & Lies and Another Time Another Place for which she won the BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer to Film and the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress.

Logan’s theatre credits include Richard III (Crucible Theatre), The Case of David Anderson Q.C. (Traverse Theatre) and Marvin’s Room (Hampstead Theatre).

Calum Finlay recently appeared on stage in Mary Stuart and Hamlet (Almeida Theatre/West End). He has also performed regularly with the RSC in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, The Mouse and His Child and Jubilee. Other theatre credits include The Ghost Train (Told By An Idiot/Manchester Royal Echange), Dunsinane (RSC/National Theatre of Scotland/international tour) and Tartuffe (Birmingham REP).

Lucy Bailey was co-founder and co-artistic director of The Print Room (2009 – 2012) in Notting Hill Gate. Recent productions include Love From a Stranger (UK Tour), Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution (London County Hall), The Graduate (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Comus (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) and Kenny Morgan (Arcola Theatre). Opera/music theatre credits include Gudrun Fier Sang (Copenhagen Dry Dock), Jenufa (English National Opera) and Pasolini’s Teorema (Maggio Musicale Florence/Munich Biennale/Queen Elizabeth Hall).

As well as Switzerland, Joanna Murray-Smith’s plays include Honour, Ridge’s Love, Scenes from a Marriage, The Female of the Species, The Gift, Day One, a Hotel, Evening, True Minds, Fury and Three Little Words; while her novels include Truce, Judgement Rock and Sunnyside.

Production images.

Image: Calum Finlay and Phyllis Logan. Photo credit: Nobby Clark.

Tickets: From £19.50. To book, call the box office on 020 7395 5405 or visit www.theambassadorstheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm; Thursday at 3pm; Saturday at 4pm. See website for full Christmas schedule.

Also at the Ambassadors Theatre: Songs For Nobodies (January 9 to February 23) and The Twilight Zone (from March 4, 2019).