9 to 16 December 2000
in the Theatre Upstairs
The Talented Mr Ripley
by Phyllis Nagy
directed by Karl Rhys
"Luck follows coincidence and vice versa." And Tom Ripley is one very lucky boy indeed. Not to mention cultured. And charming. One could even say debonair. Oh, and a psychopath. Sent to Italy to retrieve the errant son of a successful industrialist, Patricia Highsmith's classic anti-hero Mr Ripley decides it's time to show the world just how talented he really is. Phyllis Nagy is currently under commission to the RSC, Nottingham Playhouse and the Royal Court (where she was recently writer-in-residence).
"Murder, mayhem, violence, sex ... beautifully, pictorially expressed; lovely costumes and ... er ... the odd joke or two".
Sound like the ingredients for an enjoyable night at the NVT? Actually, this is Alfred Hitchcock's description of the general content of his films, but it also serves as a good thumbnail sketch of Phyllis Nagy's riveting adaptation of the first of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels.
Set in the 'La Dolce Vita' Italy of the '50s, The Talented Mr Ripley is an exploration into the mind of one of crime fiction's great anti-heroes; an intelligent, suave and charming psychopath whose struggle with personal fantasy and dream is transformed, in the world surrounding him, into a destructive cocktail of murder and duplicity.