"This is not life. This is law."

About

With heavy hearts, Griffin Theatre Company has announced that Prima Facie by Suzie Miller will no longer be presented as part of our 2020 Season. If you’ve purchased tickets to Prima Facie, we’d appreciate it if you took the time to look at the show’s Ticket Options.


Winner of the 2018 Griffin Award and fresh off a sold-out season at the Stables, 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, so common you could cry.

Sheridan Harbridge stars as Tessa—a criminal lawyer at the top of her game who knows the law permits no room for emotion.

To win, you just need to believe in the rules. And Tessa loves to win, even when defending clients accused of sexual assault. Her court-ordained duty trumps her feminism. But when she finds herself on the other side of the bar, Tessa is forced into the shadows of doubt she’s so ruthlessly cast over other women.

Turning Sydney’s courts of law into a different kind of stage, Suzie Miller’s (Sunset Strip, Caress/Ache) taut, rapid-fire and gripping one-woman show exposes the shortcomings of a patriarchal justice system where it’s her word against his.

Maybe we need a new system.

Venue: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre

Content Warning
This production contains adult themes and descriptions of sexual violence. If you have questions regarding the content of the play please contact our Box Office.

NSW Rape Crisis 1800 424 017 (24/7)

Sexual Assault Counselling Australia 1800 211 028
(8am – 11pm, Mon – Fri)
sexualassaultcounselling.org.au

Cast & Creatives

Director Lee Lewis
Designer Renée Mulder
Lighting Designer Trent Suidgeest
Composer & Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Stage Manager Khym Scott
With Sheridan Harbridge

Performance Times

Venue
Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre

Opening Night 2 September
Season
3  – 12 September

Performance Times
Monday 7 September 6.30pm
Tuesday – Friday 7.30 pm
Saturday 2pm & 7.30 pm

Schools Performances
Friday 4 & Wednesday 9 September 11am
Please book for Schools Performances via Seymour Centre

Post-show Q&A
Following the Monday 7 September performance, Professor Rita Shackel (Professor of Law & Ethics and Co-Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology) will lead a Q&A discussing the issues raised in Prima Facie. She will be joined by playwright Suzie Miller and Andrew Dyer (Colin Phegan Lecturer and Deputy Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology).

Run Time
Approximately 100 minutes without interval

Pricing

Subscription Add On

Full $56
Senior, Preview $46
Concession $42
Under 35 $36

Single Tickets

Full $62
Senior, Preview, Groups 8+ $52
Concession $46
Under 35 $38
School Group* $30
Monday Rush $20

*School Group bookings for Schools Performances via Seymour Centre from 14 October 2019.

Transaction fees of $4 for online bookings and $6 for phone bookings apply.

By purchasing from Griffin Theatre Company you are agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Supported By

Production Patron
The Girgensohn Foundation

Supported by

 

Video

Prima Facie | Meet the Team

Prima Facie Meet the Writer

Reviews

Prima Facie gives a platform for a woman to speak her truth, asking us to look beyond first impressions and to dig deeper into the very structures and procedures that embed underlying injustices. This is an urgent and compelling work: one that should be as widely seen for its craft, just as much as its subject matter should be better understood by our politicians, lawmakers and general public. Run, don’t walk.” ★★★★★ Debbie Zhou, Time Out

“The power of Miller’s script finds its match in both performer and production. Sheridan Harbridge is open, raw and technically impressive as Tessa, offering up a perfectly calibrated performance full of emotional truth. It’s one that also registers as deeply generous, almost attentive, as if the actor is extending one hand to the audience at the play’s most bruising moments. She is skillfully directed by Lee Lewis, whose intelligent production handles the play’s subject matter and tonal shifts with supreme finesse.” ★★★★1/2 Justin Nguyen, Limelight

“Sheridan Harbridge is superb as Tessa. Combative, controlled and clear-sighted in the first half, her decimation in the second is all the more gut-wrenching in this intense production directed by Lee Lewis.” ★★★★ Joyce Morgan, Sydney Morning Herald

“Miller’s writing is sharp, urgently precise, and yet still evokes beauty; it’s a steely play overlaid with delicate, insightful emotional work. In the hands of Sheridan Harbridge, a performer who invites you into her characters’ inner life without hesitation, it soars… the play is a living document, a map for change. It’s theatre that holds our hands and says: there could be justice for those one in three. We can change the law.” ★★★★ Cassie Tongue, Audrey Journal

“An astonishingly rich and refined work…rarely has a standing ovation at curtain call felt so natural.” ★★★★★ Veronica Hannon, Theatre Now

“Harbridge is magnificent as she portrays a confident woman at the top of her professional game, one who is physically and emotional humiliated but determined to rise above the gender and legal odds stacked against her…She never falters in delivering the grit and broad spectrum of emotions required.” ★★★★ Steve Dow, Australian Book Review

“Miller is precise and thorough, in her careful storytelling. She engages our hearts and minds, for a stirring theatrical experience, perfectly suited to our current climate of #MeToo heightened social consciousness…Actor Sheridan Harbridge holds us captive for the entire 100 minutes, of her spellbinding one-woman show. It is an extraordinary achievement.” Suzy Wrong, SuzyGoesSee

“This is not a plea, and it is more forceful than a call-to-arms. It is a voice of steely reckoning that contains within its very timbre the rage of being a woman.” Bryoni Trezise, The Conversation

“What gets Sheridan Harbridge through this performance? Hearts are surely not designed for such shattering…I fully expected to be wreckage by the end of this show as I experienced its building to an apogee of blistering indictment but instead, I came away energised by the power of theatre to respond to systemic injustice.”  Judith Greenaway, Reviews by Judith

Blog Posts

In Conversation: Suzie Miller

21.05.19

Daring to Think of Theatre as a Tool for Change Prima Facie is a play I have always wanted to write. But, I had to wait. Wait until I hit my stride as a playwright—the sculpting of the text required...

Read More +

A Note from Lee, 29 August

29.08.19

The sun was shining, the sausages were sizzling, the gin was icy, the puppies were cute, the neighbours were friendly, the street was full, Don Harwin was gracious, the bunting was flapping in the spring breeze and the plays…the plays…the...

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A Note from Lee, 4 July

04.07.19

Hello from Brisbane, I’m up here for the first Opening Night of Meyne Wyatt’s City of Gold. The team have been rehearsing the play up here at Queensland Theatre for five weeks now. It is always exciting collaborating with other...

Read More +

Diary of a Stage Manager: Prima Facie on Tour

02.07.19

After a fantastic season at Griffin, Prima Facie has been touring to Canberra Theatre Centre and Riverside Theatres, and to make sure the show runs seamlessly wherever it travels, Stage Manager Khym Scott has been touring with it! To give you...

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A Note from Lee, 6 June

06.06.19

Thank you to everyone who has seen Prima Facie and embraced the play. Sheridan Harbridge is wowing Sydney with her extraordinary performance of Suzie Miller’s writing. It’s a tough role, but the response she is getting from the audience each...

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A Note from Lee, 23 May

23.05.19

We are in the middle of opening a new show! Literally in the middle. A little known fact that is unique to Griffin: we have two Opening Nights. Strange but true. With only 105 seats and so many people who...

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A Note from Phil, 9 May

09.05.19

A young Lebanese man squeezing into a glittery frock for the first time. A painting so white that our storyteller cannot tell where the snow ends and the sky begins. A chorus of men belting out ’80s pop songs. A...

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A Note from Lee, 11 April

11.04.19

After The Bleeding Tree’s Green Room Award win(s), I want to send a huge bucket of love to Dan at Arts Centre Melbourne, Joel at Geelong Performing Arts Centre and Gill at Canberra Theatre Centre—without them the show would never...

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Casting Update for Prima Facie by Suzie Miller

12.03.19

Sheridan Harbridge will join the upcoming season of Prima Facie in the role of Tessa. This role was originally to be played by Kate Mulvany, who recently announced that due to a conflicting international opportunity, she would no longer be...

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