Prima Facie

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Prima Facie

Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 03 July - 06 July 2019
Category Live Event

Riverside Theatres presents
Griffin Theatre Company

Prima Facie

By Suzie Miller

This is not life. This is law.

Winner of the 2018 Griffin Award, 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, All the Blood and All the Water) 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.

★★★★★ Timeout
★★★★★ Theatre Now
★★★★ ½ Limelight
★★★★ Sydney Morning Herald
★★★★ Australian Book Review
★★★★ Audrey Journal

Dates & Times
Wednesday 3 July at 7:45pm
Thursday 4 July at 7:45pm
Friday 5 July at 7:45pm
Saturday 6 July at 2:15pm and 7:45pm

ARTIST TALK Saturday 6 July at 4pm
Free event bookings essential

Please note this production contains adult themes and descriptions of sexual violence.

NSW Rape Crisis 1800 424 017 (24/7)

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

Sheridan Harbridge

Sheridan performed in Griffin’s production of Jump for Jordan, and co-wrote and performed in the Griffin Independent production Nosferatutu or Bleeding at the Ballet. She was part of Griffin Studio in 2016. Her other recent performance credits include: for Belvoir: The Sugar House, The Cat/The Dog; for Big hART: Blue Angel, Hip Bone Sticking Out; for Darlinghurst Theatre: Gaybies; for GFO: An Officer and a Gentleman; for Hayes Theatre Company: The Bald Soprano, Cabaret, Charlie Brown, Calamity Jane, DreamSong, Frogger and Smudge, Miss Julie, Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah, Threepenny Opera, You’re a Good Man; for Melbourne Theatre Company: The Beast, North by Northwest, The Speechmaker; for Opera Australia: Carmen, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady; for Sydney Theatre Company: Muriel’s Wedding. Her musical Songs for the Fallen won Best Musical and Outstanding Actress at the New York Music Theatre Festival in 2015, and has toured to Sydney Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, and Brisbane Festival. Her cabaret Mrs.Bang: A Series of Seductions in 55 Minutes appeared in Brisbane Festival, Sydney Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the 32nd Stage Song Review in Poland, the Opera House, and received a Green Room Award nomination and Best Cabaret at Melbourne Fringe in 2010. Sheridan collaborated with UK cult band The Tiger Lillies, and appeared with John Cleese in his gala performance for the Just for Laughs Festival. She played Valerie Solanas and Judy Garland in Jim Sharman’s online film Andy X. TV credits include Rake, All Saints, Wild Boys, Doctor Blake Murder Mysteries, and various plays for ABC RN. Sheridan is a NIDA graduate.


Director Lee Lewis

Lee is the Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company and one of Australia’s leading directors. For Griffin she has directed: The Bleeding Tree (Best Director at the 2016 Helpmann Awards), Kill Climate Deniers, Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, The Homosexuals or ‘Faggots’, Rice, Masquerade (co-directed with Sam Strong), Gloria, Emerald City, A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il, The Serpent’s Table (co-directed with Darren Yap), Replay, Silent Disco, Smurf In Wanderland, The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars, The Call, A Hoax, The Nightwatchman. Other directing credits include: for Griffin and Bell Shakespeare: The Literati, The Misanthrope; for Bell Shakespeare: The School for Wives, Twelfth Night; for Belvoir: That Face, This Heaven, Half and Half, A Number, 7 Blowjobs, Ladybird; for Hayes Theatre Company: Darlinghurst Nights; for Melbourne Theatre Company: Gloria, Hay Fever and David Williamson’s Rupert, which toured to Washington DC as part of the World Stages International Arts Festival and to Sydney’s Theatre Royal in 2014; for Sydney Theatre Company: Honour, Love-Lies-Bleeding, ZEBRA!; for Darwin Festival: Highway of Lost Hearts.

Renée Mulder

Sound Designer & Composer Paul Charlier

A long time ago Paul played with the industrial music outfits SoliPsiK and SPK.  Since then he has composed and produced the scores and sound designs for over one hundred and seventy performances, dance works, installations, radio and television productions and films.

Paul Charlier’s theatre credits include Afterlife (National Theatre, UK), Dreams of Violence (Out of Joint, UK), Deuce (Broadway), The Cost of Living (DV8 Physical Theatre), Honour Bound (Sydney Opera House/Malthouse), Already Elsewhere (Force Majeure); Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Diary of a Madman, Toy SymphonyThe Lieutenant of InishmoreBuried ChildAftershocks, Suddenly Last SummerThe Judas Kiss and Hamlet (Belvoir Street Theatre); Cyrano, Uncle VanyaTot MomA Streetcar Named Desire, Love-Lies-Bleeding, Ying Tong, VictoryThe Cherry OrchardDemocracyCopenhagen (Sydney Theatre Company). He was Composer for the feature films CandyLast Ride and Suzy & the Simple Man, Music Supervisor for Holding The Man, Sound Designer and Music Mixer for Paul Kelly – Stories of Me and Music Supervisor for Holding The Man. Paul received Sydney Theatre Awards for Honour BoundA Streetcar Named Desire and Diary of a Madman, a Helpmann Award for A Streetcar Named Desire and an Australian Screen Sound Guild Award for Paul Kelly – Stories of Me. Paul wrote and produced the ABC Radio features A Plan For Eurydice, The Touring Machine and A Fall. In 2017 he co-directed the poly-media dance work WIRELESS and this year is shortlisted for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition.

Lighting Designer Trent Suidgeest

Trent Suidgeest’s lighting design credits include: for Griffin: Kill Climate DeniersThe Homosexuals or ‘Faggots’; for Sydney Theatre Company: Accidental Death of an Anarchist  Talk, Hay Fever; for STC/Global Creatures: Muriel’s Wedding  The Musical; for Opera Australia: CarmenSydney Opera House—The Opera (The Eighth Wonder)The Rabbits; for Hayes Theatre Co: Calamity Jane (including Australian Tour and Belvoir)GyspyDarlinghurst NightsThe View UpStairs, Only Heaven Knows; for The Production Company: The Boy From OzDustyJesus Christ SuperstarNice Work If You Can Get It, The King & I; for Black Swan State Theatre Company: over 20 mainstage productions including recently Summer of the Seventeenth Doll; for Barking Gecko Theatre Company: DuckDeath and the TulipJasper Jones. In 2015 Trent received the Mike Walsh Fellowship and the WA Department of Culture and the Arts Young People Fellowship; he went on to assist at Toneelgroep Amsterdam with Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld on their Shakespearian epic Kings of War.

ARTIST TALK | Saturday 6 July at 4pm
Join us for a special conversation with performer Sheridan Harbridge, Dr Karen O’Connell (UTS) and Sharmila Falzon following the matinee performance of Prima Facie. Reflecting on the material of the play, our panel will discuss the role of theatre in relation to their legal and social work with communities of women across Sydney.
Bookings essential

★★★★★ “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, Timeout

★★★★★ Prima Facie is an astonishingly rich and refined work.”  – Veronica Hannon, Theatre Now

★★★★ ½ “She is skilfully directed by Lee Lewis, whose intelligent production handles the play’s subject matter and tonal shifts with supreme finesse.” –  Justine Nguyen, Limelight

★★★★ “Miller’s writing is sharp, urgently precise, and yet still evokes beauty; it’s a steely play overlaid with delicate, insightful emotional work.” – Cassie Tongue, Audrey Journal

★★★★ “Sheridan Harbridge gives a bravura performance in Australian playwright Suzie Miller’s one-woman play, sharply directed by Lee Lewis in its première production.” – Steve Dow, Australian Book Review

★★★★ “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

“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

“…this transformative, agile performance will be spoken of for years to come.” Judith Greenaway, Reviews by Judith

“Miller is precise and thorough, in her careful storytelling. She engages our hearts and minds, for a stirring theatrical experience…” – Suzy Wrong, Suzy Goes See

Prima Facie by Suzie Miller

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. Don’t miss it!

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