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“Prima Facie”: Play Featuring Jodie Comer Streaming in Cinemas!

Jodie Comer in Prima Facie via YouTube

Jodie Comer has walked off the set of Killing Eve and right onto the stage of Prima Facie: Suzie Miller’s award-winning play. Prima Facie “takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game. Justin Martin directs this solo actor tour de force at the intimate Harold Pinter Theatre for a strictly limited season,” according to its website. 

Prima Facie is being performed at Harold Pinter Theatre, London, until 18th of June but the run sold out a long time ago. Don’t fear, however! The play will be streaming in theaters in the UK and internationally as part of NT Live from July 21st!

Get excited because Jodie Comer stars solo in this polemical monologue: “Tessa is a thoroughbred. A young, brilliant barrister who loves to win. She has worked her way up from working class origins to be at the top of her game; defending; cross examining and lighting up the shadows of doubt in any case. An unexpected event forces her to confront the lines where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morals diverge.”

The play is Comer’s West End debut. Her performance has been described as a “baptism of fire” by Arifa Akbar for The Guardian, and a “slightly clunky…tour de force” by Andrez Lukowski for Time Out.

Prima Facie, which Akbar describes as “A one-woman play about a lawyer who specializes in defending men accused of sexual assault, until she is assaulted herself,” is topical amidst the Heard-Depp trial. 

“Comer’s Tessa Ensler is a ruthlessly competitive young barrister with a sly wit. A state-educated bright spark who survives the gladiatorial contests of Cambridge law school, she is a very different woman before she finds herself on the other side of the witness stand as a rape victim.”

Comer might have drawn on our fave, Villanelle, when depicting Tessa’s ruthless (and highly problematic) attitude towards sexual assault cases, before it happens to her: “There is a touch of Killing Eve’s Villanelle in Comer’s darkly comic – almost camp – performance in the opening scene, which finds her shooting down a witness in court and describing it in the style of a saloon-bar showdown. Her character treats the law as a bloodsport and justifies tearing down the testimonies of women who claim assault by citing the legitimacy of “legal truth” (whatever can be proved beyond doubt) above actual truth.”

Jodie Comer’s far-reaching range definitely played a role (ha!) in landing this gig, because she has to act for all characters: “Comer has a lot to carry, playing every character, and is even tasked with moving tables around in a production whose stagecraft is filled with oddities, though it has a strong central set (design by Miriam Buether): a barrister’s chambers that is all leather chairs and oak tables, with floor-to-ceiling case files. It becomes stripped down to blackness as it progresses, with chairs tipped over and pelting rain. A musical heartbeat effectively accompanies tense moments (sound design by Ben and Max Ringham) but other compositions (by Rebecca Lucy Taylor AKA Self Esteem) conjure the ambient electronic sounds of an Ibiza beach bar, while the lighting design (by Natasha Chivers) is full of manic flashes.”

Jodie told NPR that her acting improved by learning from Sandra Oh on the set of Killing Eve: “I think her attention to detail has really inspired me. Prior to “Killing Eve,” I just always considered acting as, like, you know, you learn your lines. You go to set. You do your job. You go home. And – but there is so much more that you can give. So I think through Sandra and through the production, that’s really helped me find my own voice.”

Prima Facie is being performed at Harold Pinter Theatre, London, until 18th of June. The play will be streaming online as part of NT Live from July 21st.

Read the full article here

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