Winner of the 2018 Griffin Award, Griffin Theatre Company presents the premiere of Suzie Miller’s gripping one-woman show, Prima Facie, at the SWB Stables Theatre until 22 June, before playing Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres from 26 June and the Canberra Theatre Centre from 3 July 2019.
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.
Drawing on her experience as a lawyer, Suzie Miller’s (Sunset Strip, Caress/Ache) play centres around Tessa, a talented criminal lawyer with a steadfast belief in the structure and safety provided by the law. But when Tessa finds herself on the other side of the bar, facing her own legal strategies, the reality of what the process is like for the victims forces her to reassess what justice truly is.
In a system built by men, operated by men, inclined to distrust women, does the truth even matter? Turning Sydney’s courts of law into a different kind of stage, Miller’s taut, rapid-fire show exposes the shortcomings of a patriarchal justice system where it’s her word against his.
“Prima Facie is a really hard play to face at the moment,” said Griffin’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis. “But sometimes we have to write about the darkest things that are happening in our society. And if it’s not on the Griffin stage, where will it be?”
Griffin audiences last saw Sheridan Harbridge in David Finnigan’s audacious political comedy Kill Climate Deniers. She also performed in Griffin’s production of Jump for Jordan, and co-wrote and performed in the Griffin Independent production Nosferatutu or Bleeding at the Ballet. She was part of Griffin Studio in 2016.
Her other recent credits include Muriel’s Wedding (STC), Calamity Jane (Hayes Theatre Company), The Sugar House and The Dog/The Cat (Belvoir), The Bald Soprano, Cabaret, Charlie Brown and Carmen (Opera Australia). Her musical Songs for the Fallen won Best Musical and Outstanding Actress at the New York Music Theatre Festival in 2015, and has toured to Sydney Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne and Brisbane Festival.
Director: Lee Lewis Starring: Sheridan Harbridge Set and Costume Designer: Renée Mulder Lighting Designer: Trent Suidgeest Sound Designer: Paul Charlier Stage Manager: Khym Scott
SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross
Season continues to 22 June 2019
Information and Bookings: www.griffintheatre.com.au
The Playhouse – Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra
Season: 26 – 29 June 2019
Information and Bookings: www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au
Lennox Theatre – Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Season: 3 – 6 July 2019
Information and Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
Image: Sheridan Harbridge – photo by Brett Boardman Photography