Prima Face review: “Awards will follow”

“West End debuts come as little surprise,” said Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph. Anyone who has watched Jodie Comer’s “chameleonic” performance as assassin Villanelle on TV kill Eve will understand why she is so in demand on screen.

Now offer her solo primafacieAs a high-profile criminal attorney who disintegrates after being raped by a co-worker, “propels her to the front row of stage stars.” Comer’s “great facial expression” and his vocal versatility were well known; “the revelation” here is her physicality. She “embodies the cocky work-hard/play-hard culture of legal high-flyers” and populates the stage with several characters, including her brutish brother, a condescending cop, and Jules, the seemingly “embarrassed” cop.

Comer’s “savage yet forensic performance” wows audiences, agreed Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail. In a story told in a “blizzard of rapidly changing perspectives,” she speaks directly to the character of ambitious young lawyer Tessa. Her irreverence is contagious, and her “abrupt collapse into ashen confusion is seriously disturbing.”

Comer absolutely owns the stage, said Andrzej Lukowski in Time Out; but the piece itself is “pretty clunky”. Australian playwright Suzie Miller has worked as a lawyer – and what she has produced is a “passionate” indictment of the legal system but a slightly “heavy-duty” drama. For example, Tessa is known for her ability to defend men accused of sexual assault and has enjoyed demolishing her accusers on the witness stand; However, in a “stunning” omission, she never thinks about it when she herself is a victim of sexual assault.

The play is “blatantly” driven by an agenda designed to serve Comer’s character, Dominic Maxwell agreed in The Times. But it “makes its point in style.” As for Comer, “Nothing quite prepares you” for her range, energy, resilience, emotional clarity and sheer presence. “Awards will follow.”

Harold Pinter Theatre, London SW1. Until June 18th. Prima Face review: “Awards will follow”

Fry Electronics Team

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