Fresh from a sold out West End debut starring Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, Griffin Theatre Company’s production of Suzie Miller’s runaway success Prima Facie is available to tour in 2023 starring the one and only Sheridan Harbridge.
"Prima Facie gives a platform for a woman to speak her truth, asking us to look beyond first impressions and to dig deeper into the very structures and procedures that embed underlying injustices. This is an urgent and compelling work: one that should be as widely seen for its craft, just as much as its subject matter should be better understood by our politicians, lawmakers and general public. Run, don’t walk."
“This is not life. This is law.”
After a sold-out run on the West End, Griffin Theatre Company’s original production of Suzie Miller’s Griffin Award-winning tour de force makes its much-anticipated return.
Prima Facie is an indictment of the Australian legal system’s failure to provide reliable pathways to justice for women in rape, sexual assault or harassment cases. It’s a work of fiction, but one that could have been ripped from the headlines of any paper, any day of the week, so common you could cry. Sheridan Harbridge stars as Tessa—a criminal lawyer at the top of her game who knows the law permits no room for emotion.
To win, you just need to believe in the rules. And Tessa loves to win, even when defending clients accused of sexual assault. Her court-ordained duty trumps her feminism. But when she finds herself on the other side of the bar, Tessa is forced into the shadows of doubt she’s so ruthlessly cast over other women.
Turning Sydney’s courts of law into a different kind of stage, this taut, rapid-fire and gripping one-woman show by Suzie Miller (Anna K, Sunset Strip) exposes the shortcomings of a patriarchal justice system where it’s her word against his. Maybe we need a new system.
My play Prima Facie first came of age when it won the Griffin Award in 2018. It was the Griffin people who tirelessly worked with me to develop the play so that it was production ready the following year (2019). It was Griffin staff and creatives who lovingly produced its premier season. When Prima Facie burst on the scene with the fabulously talented actor Sheridan Harbridge and directed by the incredible Lee Lewis it was after much nurturing of the script by Lee herself, and incredible bravery from Sheridan. When the audiences responded with such love I felt excited that a play could be part of the national conversation. In 2020 winning a number of awards at the AWGIES I was so humbled. The Griffin board members and staff all called me excitedly about the success and I had my own mobile phone party as I sat in the bush numbed by the awards.
Prima Facie will soon take the stage in the UK, at the National Theatre's Harold Pinter Theatre, in a new iteration directed by Justin Martin and starring Jodie Comer. It is a dream come true for me to have my work play at such an exciting venue. Don't miss the chance to see Prima Facie in its original production by Griffin and Lee Lewis, starring its original star Sheridan Harbridge, in the country that embraced its first show. Griffin Theatre Company - home for Australian playwrights.
“The power of Miller’s script finds its match in both performer and production. Sheridan Harbridge is open, raw and technically impressive as Tessa, offering up a perfectly calibrated performance full of emotional truth. It’s one that also registers as deeply generous, almost attentive, as if the actor is extending one hand to the audience at the play’s most bruising moments. She is skillfully directed by Lee Lewis, whose intelligent production handles the play’s subject matter and tonal shifts with supreme finesse.”
★★★★1/2 Justin Nguyen, Limelight
“Sheridan Harbridge is superb as Tessa. Combative, controlled and clear-sighted in the first half, her decimation in the second is all the more gut-wrenching in this intense production directed by Lee Lewis.”
★★★★ Joyce Morgan, Sydney Morning Herald
“Miller’s writing is sharp, urgently precise, and yet still evokes beauty; it’s a steely play overlaid with delicate, insightful emotional work. In the hands of Sheridan Harbridge, a performer who invites you into her characters’ inner life without hesitation, it soars… the play is a living document, a map for change. It’s theatre that holds our hands and says: there could be justice for those one in three. We can change the law.”
★★★★ Cassie Tongue, Audrey Journal
“This was one of the most chilling, affecting plays I have ever seen — it agitated something great and powerful inside me — and it’s something every woman should experience.”
Jessie Tu, Women’s Agenda
“An astonishingly rich and refined work…rarely has a standing ovation at curtain call felt so natural.”
★★★★★ Veronica Hannon, Theatre Now
“Harbridge is magnificent as she portrays a confident woman at the top of her professional game, one who is physically and emotional humiliated but determined to rise above the gender and legal odds stacked against her…She never falters in delivering the grit and broad spectrum of emotions required.”
★★★★ Steve Dow, Australian Book Review
“Miller is precise and thorough, in her careful storytelling. She engages our hearts and minds, for a stirring theatrical experience, perfectly suited to our current climate of #MeToo heightened social consciousness…Actor Sheridan Harbridge holds us captive for the entire 100 minutes, of her spellbinding one-woman show. It is an extraordinary achievement.”
Suzy Wrong, SuzyGoesSee
“This is not a plea, and it is more forceful than a
call-to-arms. It is a voice of steely reckoning that contains within its very
timbre the rage of being a woman.”
Bryoni Trezise, The Conversation
“What gets Sheridan Harbridge through this performance? Hearts
are surely not designed for such shattering…I fully expected to be wreckage by
the end of this show as I experienced its building to an apogee of blistering
indictment but instead, I came away energised by the power of theatre to
respond to systemic injustice.”
Judith Greenaway, Reviews by Judith
Geelong Arts Centre, VIC | Land of the Wathaurong (Wadawurrung) People
28 March – 1 April | BOOK
Theatre Royal Hobart, TAS | Land of the Muwinina People
4 – 6 April | BOOK
Paranaple Arts Centre Devonport, TAS | Land of the Punnilerpanner People
13 April | BOOK
Lighthouse Theatre Warrnambool, VIC | Land of the Gunditjmara People}
15 - 16 April | BOOK
The Q - Queanbeyan, NSW | Land of the Ngambri and Ngunnawal People
19 April | BOOK
Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People
21 April | BOOK
HotHouse Theatre Wodonga, VIC | Land of the Wiradjuri People
26 – 29 April | BOOK
Empire Theatre Toowoomba, QLD | Land of the Jagera, Giabal and Jarowair People
3 May | BOOK
Touring in 2023
Director Lee Lewis
Designer Renée Mulder
Lighting Designer Trent Suidgeest
Composer & Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Stage Manager Khym Scott
If you are interested in touring get in contact!
Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880
Arts on Tour is based in Redfern NSW and we respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the unceded land on which we work.
As we tour artists and productions across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations Elders, past, present and future.
We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.