Prima Facie – Broadway Reviews

Prima Facie has opened on Broadway at the Golden Theater in New York starring Jodie Comer.

Reviews are coming in for this acclaimed transfer from the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.

Earlier this month Jodie Comer won the Best Actress award at the Olivier Awards 2023 for her performance as barrister Tessa in Suzie Miller’s play.

The one-person play got great reviews in London, and the New York critics seem to be equally impressed by Jodie’s performance and the play.

Prima Facie stars Jodie Comer as Tessa, with Dani Arlington as her understudy. The play is written by Suzie Miller, directed by Justin Martin, and features an original score by Rebecca Lucy Taylor.

Set and costume design is by Miriam Buether, Lighting design by Natasha Chivers, Sound design by Ben & Max Ringham, and video design by William Williams for Treatment Studio. Production Stage Manager is Diane DiVita. Assistant Stage Manager is Georgia Bird. Marketing is by Liz Furze for AKA. Production Management is by Liza Luxenberg for Aurora Productions. General management is by 101 Productions Ltd. Company manager is Katie Andrews. Associate Producer is Kerrise Stewart.

Read reviews from the New York Times, New York Post and more.

Prima Facie plays at the Golden Theater in New York until 18 June 2023.

The New York Times

"In ‘Prima Facie,’ Jodie Comer Makes the Case"

"The “Killing Eve” star has a spectacular Broadway debut in a play that puts sexual assault jurisprudence on trial."

"Its star, Jodie Comer, late of “Killing Eve,” gives a performance of tremendous skill and improbable stamina, especially considering it is her first stage appearance. The production, directed by Justin Martin, is chic and accessible, with design flourishes, by now de rigueur, to underline the idea that it is a Big Event. And the reform of sexual assault jurisprudence that the play advocates could hardly be more convincingly argued or worthy of our attention."

"One-person, multicharacter stories often fail to develop suspense and momentum, but Miller has structured this one precisely. Details we learn casually in the first half return menacingly in the second. The abandonment of that structure in the play’s final third is likewise precise, and many will value the disruption prima facie — at first glance."

Jesse Green, The New York Times
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New York Post

"Brilliant Jodie Comer is a must-see on Broadway"

"... at curtain call, as we step outside of the drama and back into our seats at the John Golden Theatre, pure exhilaration washes over us — because we have just witnessed the emergence of an extraordinary new stage talent. That would be the sensational Jodie Comer, who won an Emmy Award for playing the Russian assassin Villanelle on TV’s “Killing Eve,” and is every bit as good — nay, even better — live and in-person."

"But Comer goes far beyond our basic expectations and into the upper echelons of greatness. The 30-year-old actress is remarkably alive with both the nuclear energy of newness and the sturdy force of someone who’s been at it for decades."

"Most astonishing throughout are Comer’s quick shifts in posture, voice, pace and body language that instantly and impactfully reveal Tessa’s state of mind. The actress shoves heavy tables and chairs around the stage in director Justin Martin’s production, and looks drastically different by the end. I was in awe that I’d been in the room with the same person for an uninterrupted 100 minutes."

Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
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"Jodie Comer Commands the Stage in Broadway Drama"

"What’s good about this play is also what’s not so good about it: Tess, while she’s still looking at the world from a position of power, explains how the law works when it comes to sexual assault, and it’s enlightening. And yet it’s also dull and somewhat artless. The writing is good in the way that eating your vegetables is good, but there’s no poetry. We’re strictly talking about law and the way lawyers think."

"As for Comer, she’s playing an overwrought ass who drinks too much and talks too much (she’s telling the story from a lot of people’s points of view, so there’s a lot to say), and that gets tiresome. She’s pushing in the first half of the show, playing for laughs to an audience who already loves her... The play becomes more interesting, though, during and after the rape, when the glee is gone and Tess comes down to earth to suffer with the rest of us. Comer slows down, and instead of speeding through the story—manically changing costumes on stage, moving furniture around from scene to scene—she stands onstage in her own body, with her bare feet on the ground."

Trish Deitch, Variety
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Entertainment Weekly

"Jodie Comer makes a remarkable Broadway debut in Suzie Miller's one-woman show"

"Prima Facie is thus both an entertainment and an education. And it excels at both."

"Jodie Comer is just plain f---ing remarkable. For an hour and 40 minutes, she's absolutely transfixing. At first haughty and self-possessed as the young lawyer with a brilliant future, and then defeated but defiant as a victim determined to retain her faith in the system to which she had dedicated her life."

"She is given tremendous aid by her director Justin Martin, set and costume designer Miriam Buether, lighting designer Natasha Chivers, sound designers Ben and Max Ringham, and from a score by Rebecca Lucy Taylor. And of course there's Miller's script, stubbornly sober then searingly passionate. The result is a night of theater that not only speaks to the culture but shifts it as well."

Rating: A+

Lester Fabian Brathwaite, Entertainment Weekly
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"Jodie Comer straddles defense in Suzie Miller's one-woman play about sexual assault."

"Although it spends some time playing devil’s advocate for criminal defense, Prima Facie’s position on its central question is clear and, by the end, polemical."

"As Tessa’s mental health suffers in the aftermath of the assault, director Justin Martin’s staging grows bleaker: Set designer Miriam Buether’s clubby law-office set gives way to absence, and Ben and Max Ringham’s sound design cues up emotional music. The complexities of the issue, introduced as evidence earlier, are set aside in a final summation that marks the play as a work of explicit advocacy."

"... about Comer’s performance there can be no doubt: This is a powerful and moving star turn."

Adam Feldman, TimeOut
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"‘Killing Eve’ Star Jodie Comer In Tour De Force Broadway Debut"

"Killing Eve star Jodie Comer claims Broadway as her own in her tour de force performance of Prima Facie, a scalding indictment of the law and its limits opening tonight at the Golden Theatre."

"Directed with energy and empathy by Justin Martin (The Crown, The Inheritance, the upcoming Stranger Things: The First Shadow), Comer is rarely still – and when she is, there’s purpose behind it..."

"The drama is in how Tessa deals with the crumbling of her ideals and the smashing of her self-delusions, and in how Comer can so vividly, indelibly display both."

Greg Evans, Deadline
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Wall Street Journal

"Jodie Comer’s Barrister on Broadway"

"The solo play by Suzie Miller, which arrives in New York after an award-winning London run, stars the ‘Killing Eve’ actress as a defense lawyer who rethinks her belief in the legal system after being sexually assaulted."

"As a confident, even arrogant lawyer whose life is upended by a sexual assault, landing her in the disturbing position of sitting in a witness box, Jodie Comer gives one of the most thrilling performances of the Broadway season in Prima Facie"

Charles Isherwood, Wall Street Journal
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"Jodie Comer Makes a Winning Case for Prima Facie"

"Comer’s performance moves at the relentless pace of someone trying to outspeed her own pain, and she’s up there keeping pace with a character whose mind moves at Mach 10. It’s an incredible breakneck feat, in which Comer achieves escape velocity from the script of Suzie Miller’s unsteady play and exerts a thrilling and devastating gravitational force of her own."

"That Comer is able to pull all that off is both expected, given the facility she’s shown on film and television, and a mild surprise, with her lack of experience onstage."

"Miller’s play provides Comer with straightforward but potent material."

"If the writing and production falter, Comer’s performance speaks more than clearly than all that’s going on around her."

Jackson McHenry, Vulture
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New York Daily News

"‘Prima Facie’ with Jodie Comer is a gripping legal thriller"

"Jodie Comer, famous for her work on the British TV series “Killing Eve,” offers up a stunning performance in “Prima Facie,” a taut and gripping legal thriller by Suzie Miller that offers compelling evidence on how to forge a solo show that can blow an audience away on Broadway."

"This is an intensely physical production, one that deserves to stand out in a season where Broadway is offering up elsewhere a bunch of visually challenged shows featuring star actors sitting in chairs or at tables."

"“Prima Facie” manages to be both political and commercially viable theater, a rare feat these days, and one achieved here through the quality of this gifted actor, the talent and craft of the writer and the rich layering of experiential tension in the direction."

Chris Jones, New York Daily News
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👤 📅24 April 2023
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📷 Main photo: Prima Facie on Broadway - Jodie Comer. Photo by BRONWEN SHARP

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