Jodie Comer Makes Tour De Pressure Debut – Deadline

Killing Eve star Jodie Comer claims Broadway as her personal in her tour de pressure efficiency of Prima Facie, a scalding indictment of the regulation and its limits opening tonight on the Golden Theatre.

Comer performs Tessa, a younger, working class Liverpool girl who has turn into one among London’s most promising protection attorneys by means of sheer intelligence and needle-sharp courtroom instincts. Her specialty – maybe, or maybe not, foisted upon her by the cynical male superiors who run issues in methods Tessa solely slowly comprehends – is the protection of males charged with sexual assault.

Tessa’s outwardly compassionate, woman-to-woman cross-examinations of assault victims aren’t any much less efficient for his or her sympathetic overtones, maybe extra so. Her probing questions and geiger-counter instincts for locating the hidden bombs that may blow a sufferer’s story to smithereens make Tessa a useful pressure within the courtroom.


Bronwen Sharp

All through the early portion of the play, Comer exhibits us Tessa’s razor expertise as she demonstrates the cross-examination methods (and narrates their finer factors concurrently). We see her take aside a pompous police detective, and a nervous sexual assault sufferer. Tessa may need fleeting pangs of guilt for the latter, and unbridled glee at dismantling the previous, however for probably the most half she sees her job as simply that – a obligatory cog within the equipment of justice, with every participant in a courtroom’s dramatics assigned an important position to make the system play out as pretty as doable. It’s not an ideal system, she is aware of, however even when it seems horribly unfair, it’s the perfect we received.

Tessa’s perceptions change, and her well-assembled world crumbles, in a blink. She’s just lately turn into romantically all in favour of a coworker, a gentle-demeanored fellow lawyer. After a shared late evening tryst within the workplace, the 2 resolve to have a correct date, with meals and drinks and perhaps, or extra seemingly assuredly, a visit again to Tessa’s condo for greater than a nightcap.

Solely one thing begins to go terribly flawed. As they lay in mattress, Tessa begins to really feel dizzy and queasy, and is quickly vomiting in her toilet. When the coworker carries her again to mattress, and regardless of her protests (she’s feeling gross and sick and all of a sudden terrified) the person ignores her pleas, pins her down, covers her mouth and violently, painfully rapes her.

Tessa is aware of from skilled expertise what’s going to observe, the questions and the insinuations. Not like the ladies she has cross-examined, Tessa is aware of each hidden lure the regulation has in wait, and but even she will be able to’t keep away from them. Comer recounts this authorized horror step-by-step, letting the viewers see the withering of self-confidence and rising panic as days drag into weeks, months and years between the rape and Tessa’s day in courtroom.

Directed with power and empathy by Justin Martin (The Crown, The Inheritance, the upcoming Stranger Issues: The First Shadow), Comer is never nonetheless – and when she is, there’s goal behind it – shifting workplace desks and a chair into any variety of configurations and makes use of. (The set is designed by Miriam Buether, as are Tessa’s costumes – principally lawyerly apparel with the only exception of a garish rose-pink shirt gifted, poignantly, from Tessa’s working-class Liverpool mother.)

When the play (100 minutes, no intermission) enters its latter half and Tessa’s long-in-coming courtroom date arrives, Prima Facie not often lets us elevate our hopes and even, actually, challenges our expectations – most of us have been ready by too many Regulation & Order: SVUs. The drama is in how Tessa offers with the crumbling of her beliefs and the smashing of her self-delusions, and in how Comer can so vividly, indelibly show each.

Title: Prima Facie
Venue: Broadway’s Golden Theatre
Director: Justin Martin
Playwright: Suzie Miller
Forged: Jodie Comer
Operating time: 1 hr 40 min (no intermission)

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