Friday, June 28, 2019


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.

Alanna Maclean

Photo Brett Boardman