The talon-ted Miss High­smith

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stepping - Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie Switzer­land Heath Ledger The­atre Au­gust 19 to Septem­ber 3 www.tick­

NOT only has Giuseppe Ro­ton­della’s act­ing tal­ent landed him his sec­ond role at Black Swan State The­atre Company within a year of grad­u­at­ing from WAAPA, but it has pro­vided him the op­por­tu­nity to play a char­ac­ter based on an­other ‘tal­ented’ in­di­vid­ual - au­thor Pa­tri­cia High­smith’s Mr Tom Ri­p­ley - in Switzer­land.

“The pro­duc­tion picks up to­wards the end of Pa­tri­cia High­smith’s life and is set in Switzer­land in 1995,” Ro­ton­della said.

“The story is about a gen­tle­man by the name of Ed­ward Ridge­way com­ing to co­erce Pa­tri­cia High­smith into writ­ing a fi­nal Ri­p­ley novel.

“He be­lieves he can per­suade her into writ­ing and she has a bit of a track his­tory of ter­ror­is­ing the pub­lish­ers who have come to visit her out in Switzer­land.

“There’s no­to­ri­ety about her that Ed­ward has to brace be­fore he en­ters the dragon den. It is a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller and you’ll cer­tainly be leav­ing the the­atre ask­ing ques­tions about what hap­pened.”

Ro­ton­della,who made his BSSTC de­but as sol­dier Char­lie in Light­house Girl, said High­smith had been re­spon­si­ble WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: TICK­ETS: for some of the most im­por­tant pieces of lit­er­a­ture from the 20th cen­tury.

He was un­fa­mil­iar with the cel­e­brated au­thor and her sto­ries be­fore au­di­tion­ing last year, but has since rec­ti­fied that af­ter land­ing the role.

“The con­ver­sa­tion we’re hav­ing in so­ci­ety about women’s suf­frage, and how it’s found its way into pop­u­lar cul­ture with films like Won­der Woman, is re­ally im­por­tant and Pa­tri­cia High­smith was a pi­o­neer of that,” he said.

“She was hell-bent on mak­ing her­self some­thing in a man’s world. There’s this re­ally great line in the play that Ed­ward says, ‘You grew up in New York City in a time where women had to work five times as hard to get half as far’.”

The list of in­flu­en­tial women on this pro­duc­tion con­tin­ues with writer Joanna Murray-smith, di­rec­tor Lawrie Cullen-tait and ac­tor Jenny Davis.

“I’d seen Jenny per­form in Tartuffe - The Hyp­ocrite last year and thought she was re­ally good but I didn’t know how many cul­tural con­tri­bu­tions she’d made to the WA com­mu­nity be­fore the start of this show,” Ro­ton­della said. “She’s a star in her own right and it’s great to work with that level of experience.

“She’s quite a tech­ni­cal ac­tress and takes her time when de­liv­er­ing lines. I think it’s a trait and style of our gen­er­a­tion that we speak through a lot of the stuff we say, rat­tling it off and think­ing that’s what cre­ates the ten­sion.”

Switzer­land will be broad­cast live on Fri­day, Septem­ber 1 at 7.30pm from the State The­atre Cen­tre to All Saints Col­lege, Curtin Univer­sity and Sut­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Vic­to­ria Park. More at com­mu­nity/live-broad­cast.

Tanya Macnaughton­mu­ni­ d471672

Switzer­land Ro­ton­della. ac­tor Guiseppe

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