ETC and the Canberra Theatre Centre present Prima Facie by Suzie Miller. Directed by Lee Lewis. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre. June 27-29.
Prima Facie is a one woman play, with, at its centre, the question of voice.
Who gets heard?
Sheridan Harbridge is Tess, a young lawyer relishing the world of courts and trials. She’s clever and competent and knows exactly how things work in a courtroom from a barrister’s point of view. She’s good at the job to which her high school and university results have led her.
Until all comes unstuck when she is raped by a colleague. She reports it and there is a trial. Why things turn out the way they do in this system is something she finds herself understanding all too well.
Suzie Miller’s play is a fascinating examination of law and trauma and not being heard in those contexts. It runs nearly two hours, with a kind of pause for breath (not an interval) between the assault and the outcomes.
Harbridge sustains it all superbly on a set that consists of little more than a chair and a platform, an image that works both for the barrister and the witness. It’s word against word in both instances.
Powerful stuff, sure to cause necessary debate and not a play to miss.
|Photo Brett Boardman