Suzie Miller’s award-winning play to make UK premiere
Performances begin Friday 15 April 2022 | Harold Pinter Theatre
Jodie Comer, the Emmy and Bafta Award-winning star of BBC’s Killing Eve and 20th Century Studios Free Guy and The Last Duel, is to make her stage debut in the UK premiere of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play, Prima Facie.
Jodie will play Tessa in this gripping, one-person play which takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game.
Prima Facie, directed by Justin Martin, will begin performances at the Harold Pinter Theatre on Friday 15 April (Press Night: Wednesday 27 April at 7:00pm) and play a strictly limited 9-week season, with tickets available at ‘Pay What You Can’ for each and every performance.
Tessa is a thoroughbred. A young, brilliant barrister who loves to win. She has worked her way up from working class origins to be at the top of her game; prosecuting; cross examining and lighting up the shadows of doubt in any case. An unexpected event forces her to confront the lines where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morals diverge.
Jodie Comer said today, “It’s such an honour to have been given the opportunity to work with Justin Martin, Suzie Miller and the whole team on this wonderfully unique play. I look forward to bringing Tessa to life and introducing her to the audiences at the Harold Pinter theatre next Spring.”
Producer James Bierman commented, “ I am incredibly privileged to be able to bring Suzie’s timely and important play to the West End with such a hugely talented group of people. Jodie is one of the most brilliant actors working today and her, this play, and Justin’s team are a perfect mix. Having tickets at a Pay What You Can level for each performance is also our commitment to making sure accessibility is at the heart of this production.”
Jodie Comer is a multiple award-winning actress, internationally renowned for her starring roles in acclaimed TV series including Killing Eve, The White Princess, Thirteen and Doctor Foster. She was most recently seen in Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds and opposite Stephen Graham in Channel 4’s Help. Later this month she will star in Ridley Scott’s period drama, The Last Duel, alongside Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck. Next year, Jodie will be reunited with Ridley Scott on Kitbag, where she will play Napoleon Bonaparte’s beloved Josephine in Apple Studios’ upcoming biopic, opposite Joaquin Phoenix.
Suzie Miller is a contemporary international playwright and screenwriter drawn to complex human stories often exploring injustice. She has been produced around the world winning multiple prestigious awards. In 2020 Miller’s drama Prima Facie (premiered 2019, Griffin Theatre) won the 2020 Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Drama; the 2020 David Williamson Award for Outstanding Theatre Writing; and the 2020 prestigious Major Australian Writers’ Guild Award across all categories of theatre, film, and television. Previous plays include Caress/Ache and Sunset Strip (Griffin Theatre); Dust (Black Swan); The Mathematics of Longing (La Boite); SOLD (Theatre 503); Cross Sections and Driving into Walls (Sydney Opera House). Suzie has a background in law and science, and is currently developing major theatre, film and television projects across the UK, USA, and Australia.
Justin Martin is an award winning director working in theatre, film and television. He has worked throughout North America, Europe and Australasia. Most recently, Justin co-directed with Stephen Daldry the critically acclaimed Together for BBC films (starring James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan). Justin is also currently developing a film adaptation of the hit play The Jungle for the BBC. His critically acclaimed production of The Jungle (A Young Vic/National Theatre co-production) most recently played in San Francisco, following sell-out seasons at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York, in the West End and at The Young Vic. The show garnered awards including an Obie, a Southbank Sky Arts Award and a Broadway World Award for Best Direction. Justin’s critically acclaimed production of Low Level Panic sold out twice at the Galway Theatre Festival before touring throughout Ireland and to a sell-out season in Australia. Other recent theatre credits include: Last Chance: A Plea For the Unaccompanied Children of Calais (Young Vic) starring Carey Mulligan, Juliet Stevenson, Joely Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave and Samuel West; The Nether (Seymour Centre, Sydney); Far Away (fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne); Fifty Two (Leicester Square Theatre); Good Chance/No Chance (as part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love); Harvey and Frieda (Arcola Theatre); Street (Mick Laly Theatre – Galway Theatre Festival), The Kitchen (HM Theatre, Victoria) and Skintight (fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne). Justin has a long collaboration with director Stephen Daldry. Most recently, Justin was the associate director for Stephen’s award-winning production of The Inheritance (Young Vic/West End/Broadway). He was the associate director for both Skylight (starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan) and The Audience (starring first Helen Mirren and later Kristin Scott Thomas) both in the West End and on Broadway. He also worked with John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett on the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Let the Right One In (Dundee Rep/Royal Court/West End/St Ann’s, NY/US Tour). He was an associate director on Billy Elliot the Musical working on Broadway, throughout North America, South Korea, Amsterdam, and Australia. Other screen credits include work on seasons 1 and 2 of the award-winning Netflix series The Crown and on hugely successful NT Live performances of Skylight and The Audience.
Justin is an associate artist with Good Chance Theatre – a company dedicated to making work with and about refugees. He has directed a number of works for them, including most recently working on a number of promos for The Walk – a theatre festival spanning 8000km from The Syrian border to Manchester. He was the inaugural recipient of the Roger Leach Award for Theatre. Justin continues to develop work with some of the worlds most renowned theatre, film, and television companies. He is attached to direct new plays in London, Sydney, and New York when COVID 19 abates. He is also currently developing film and television projects in the UK, US, and Australia.
Prima Facie is produced by James Bierman for Empire Street Productions.
JODIE COMER BIOGRAPHY
Emmy and BAFTA-winning actress, Jodie Comer, is best known for her starring roles in KILLING EVE, FREE GUY, THE WHITE PRINCESS, THIRTEEN and DOCTOR FOSTER.
Jodie first rose to prominence in E4’s BAFTA and International Emmy Award nominated British comedy-drama series MY MAD FAT DIARY.
2015 saw Jodie in the BBC One ratings phenomenon DOCTOR FOSTER alongside Suranne Jones and Bertie Carvel. The mini-series was written by award-winning writer Mike Bartlett. The BBC series resonated on the Awards circuit, scooping up Best New Drama at the 2016 National Television Awards, the TV Drama Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards and the Best New Drama Award at the TV Choice Awards 2016. DOCTOR FOSTER was also nominated for Mini-Series and the Radio Times Audience Award at the British Academy Television Awards 2016. Jodie reprised her role in the second series.
Jodie was announced as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2016. In the same year she received a BAFTA TV nomination for her leading role in BBC Three’s first major online series, THIRTEEN, a five-part psychological drama about a young woman working her way back into society after being abducted. Jodie played Ivy Moxam, who escaped from a cellar that had been her prison for the last thirteen years. Jodie received wide praise for her performance in THIRTEEN, The Telegraph commented, “Comer’s performance as the disturbed Ivy, a twitching bundle of nerves and vulnerability, was excellent” and “Jodie Comer, as Ivy, has done a superb job of imagining the unimaginable, and hers was a doubly difficult brief (…). This required Comer to act as if her character might herself be acting, a thin line that she toed impeccably throughout.” Sunday Times, Culture added, “movie stardom surely awaits Comer.”
In 2016, Jodie was seen in BBC One’s RILLINGTON PLACE. This gripping three-part drama was based on the real-life multiple murders committed by John Christie in London in the 1940s and 50s. Jodie starred alongside Tim Roth, Samantha Morton and Nico Mirallegro.
In 2017, Jodie played the title role of Elizabeth of York in the Starz series, THE WHITE PRINCESS, the sequel to the acclaimed historical TV drama The White Queen. THE WHITE PRINCESS is part of Philippa Gregory’s best-selling The Cousins’ War novels, chronicling the long-running War of the Roses.
Jodie received worldwide praise and attention for her starring role in the BBC America thriller KILLING EVE, opposite Sandra Oh. KILLING EVE follows Eve (Sandra Oh), a MI5 security officer whose desk job does not fulfil her fantasies of being a spy, and a glamourous, sociopathic Russian assassin known as Villanelle (Jodie). When Eve is tasked with tracking down Villanelle before she can strike again, the two women are thrown into a cat-and-mouse game that turns the traditional spy-thriller on its head. Alternating between darkly funny and chillingly tense, KILLING EVE explores themes of obsession and sociopathy. Villanelle is handed various new assignments, which see her leading a trail of bloody and creative murders across Europe and thus stalked by MI5 investigator, Eve. As Eve and Villanelle continue to encounter and become fixated with one another, they become part of a much larger conspiracy that suggests they may not actually be on opposing sides. The shadowy organizations they ultimately work for might be more closely connected than expected, as both women come to discover in their independent ways. The series is based on the ‘Villanelle’ series of novellas by Luke Jennings and has received a 100% “fresh” approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Jodie received rave reviews for her performance, with The Hollywood Reporter commenting, “the biggest surprise is probably Comer as the Russian-originated assassin now using Paris as her home base. Comer was last seen as the shell-shocked kidnap victim in the BBC miniseries Thirteen, but turns 180 degrees here as the young assassin Villanelle… Villanelle might be the most coquettish sociopath in some time, if not ever, and Comer manages to be magnetic, weirdly funny and extremely dangerous in the same breath.” Vanity Fair added “one of the most magnetic, roguish psychopaths in TV history”, and TV Line commended her performance, “Comer is an absolute revelation as Villanelle, in a star-making performance: seductive and terrifying, juggling multiple accents and shifting emotions on a dime” and Entertainment Weekly went as far as to laud Jodie’s performance as “probably the single best TV performance of 2018.”
Much like the first series, the second series of KILLING EVE was met with widespread critical and audience acclaim. The opening episode picked up 36 seconds from where the first series finished, with Villanelle trying to remain hidden and recuperate from her injuries whilst a new cat-and-mouse game unfolds. Reviewed with 5* from The Telegraph and with 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, The New York Times said that Jodie “burn(s) just as brightly” as in the former series. KILLING EVE is BBC iPlayer’s biggest non-continuous drama programme of all-time – with nearly 110m requests to view both series one and two to date.
Jodie won the Leading Actress award at the 2019 BAFTA Television Awards, the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, the Best Female Actor award at the Royal Television Society Awards 2019, the Best Actress award at the Broadasting Press Guild Awards 2019, and Entertainer Of The Year at Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards 2019. She has also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Televsion Series – Drama, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, a Television Critics Association for Individual Achievement in Drama (2018 & 2019), a National Television Award for Outstanding Drama Performance, and a Gold Derby nomination in the Drama Actress category. KILLING EVE was nominated for Best Television Series at the Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy Awards (2018 & 2019), Gold Derby Awards, Gotham Awards (won), People’s Choice Awards, Television Critics Association Awards (won in 2018 & nominated in 2019), Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Peabody Award (won) and National Television Awards. The series was nominated for 14 awards at the 2019 BAFTA Television Awards, including Drama Series (won) and Must-See Moment.
Jodie reprised her role in the third series of the multi-award-winning drama with The Telegraph saying, “It’s been repeatedly written about, far and wide, but it’s worth saying again: Comer’s performance as Villanelle remains about as perfect as one can get. She is one of Britain’s most staggering talents, a magnetic, gripping, precise performer, not to mention that exceptional mastery of accents.” Jodie picked up Leading Actress nominations at the BAFTA Television Awards, Critics Choice Television Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, Satellite Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. KILLING EVE was nominated for Drama Series at the GLAAD Media Awards, Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy Awards and Satellite Awards.
Jodie is currently filming the fourth and final series of KILLING EVE.
In 2018, Jodie starred in the comedy short SNATCHES: MOMENTS FROM WOMEN’S LIVES, inspired by women who have spoken out, challenged the status quo or made a stand – often at great personal cost. Jodie starred in ‘Bovril Pam’, she played a Scouse secretary on the cusp of the sexual revolution in 1961. SNATCHES: MOMENTS FROM WOMEN’S LIVES aired on BBC Four and Jodie’s episode was nominated for the Short Form Programme BAFTA Award at the 2019 BAFTA Television Awards.
Jodie made a surprise cameo appearance in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, where she played Rey’s mother, alongside Billy Howle as Rey’s father.
Last year, Jodie was seen in Alan Bennett’s TALKING HEADS on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Alan Bennett’s critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning TALKING HEADSmonologues, first aired on the BBC in 1988 and 1998, breaking new ground for television, and widely celebrated as Alan Bennett’s masterpieces. This year, ten of the original pieces were remade, with the addition of two new ones written by Bennett. They were produced by Nicholas Hytner’s London Theatre Company. Jodie starred in Her Big Chance (1988), directed by Josie Rourke. The original monologue was performed by Julie Walters. The contained nature of Bennett’s monologues allowed the opportunity to tell timely and relevant stories while following the latest government guidelines on safe working practices during Covid-19. Filming took place at BBC Elstree Studios using existing sets. “For 40 sublime minutes, the award-winning Scouser plays aspirant, ’80s actress Lesley in Her Big Chance… Comer has brought all her dazzling, own-brand pathos to what is sure to be one of the most talked-about slices of TV of the year.” – British Vogue
Jodie can currently be seen in her first feature film, Twentieth Century Fox’s epic adventure-comedy FREE GUY, opposite Ryan Reynolds. Directed by Shawn Levy, FREE GUY tells the story of a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game and decides to become the hero of his own story. Jodie plays the dual roles of programmer Millie and avatar ‘Molotov Girl’. The cast also includes Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Taika Waititi. FREE GUY took the No. 1 spot at the international box office with $17.1M from 46 markets. The film is getting a China release date of 27th August.
Jodie was most recently seen opposite Stephen Graham in Channel 4’s HELP, from the BAFTA award-winning writer Jack Thorne and BAFTA award-winning director Marc Munden. Set in a fictional Liverpool care home, HELP tells the moving story of the relationship between a care home worker (Jodie) and a Young Onset Alzheimer’s patient (Stephen Graham), whose lives are changed forever by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. This project also marks Jodie’s first time as an Executive Producer.
This month, Jodie will star in Ridley Scott’s period drama, THE LAST DUEL, alongside Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck. Set in 14th century France, the film is an epic tale of betrayal and justice, told from three distinct points of view: two knights (Matt Damon and Adam Driver) whose bond is tested by treachery and a young woman (Jodie) forced to navigate the brutal and oppressive culture of the era in order to survive. The film premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Jodie’s performance received critical acclaim with the Telegraph stating, “But this is Jodie Comer’s show. As first the dutiful wife, then the adulteress, and finally the woman taking on the huge responsibility of being heard, the Killing Eve star is the glue that holds the whole thing together, and the screen is never more alive than when she is on it.” and “It should also go down as the film that revealed Comer, the 28-year-old from Liverpool, as a genuine movie star.”
Jodie will soon be reunited with Ridley Scott on KITBAG, where she will play Napoleon Bonaparte’s beloved Josephine in Apple Studios’ upcoming biopic, opposite Joaquin Phoenix.
Writer: Suzie Miller
Director: Justin Martin
Set & Costume Design: Miriam Buether
Lighting Design: Natasha Chivers
HAROLD PINTER THEATRE
Box Office: 0333 009 6690
Ticket prices start from Pay What You Can
Friday 15 April – Saturday 18 June 2022
Wednesday 27 April 2022 at 7:00pm
Mondays – Saturdays: 7:30pm
Thursday & Saturday matinees: 3:00pm