Not in Print: playwrights off script - on inspiration, process and theatre itself

‘The law of sexual assault spins on the wrong axis’: Suzie Miller on her play, Prima Facie

"Five years at law school,
eleven years of practice,
I have always believed.
Now I need to know that I was not mistaken."

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In this episode we spoke with playwright Suzie Miller about her award winning play, Prima Facie.

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.

Tessa is 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.

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Prima Facie will be showing again at Griffin Theatre, 23 June - 10 July 2021. Tickets here: https://tinyurl.com/4j8kd74x

Grab copies of the script here: https://tinyurl.com/5zdjzr2y

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Music by Grace Turner.

Thank you to Sarah Easterman for reading the excerpts from the play for this episode. 

 

An Ever Changing Idiom - Alana Valentine’s response to Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, by Ray Lawler

Alana Valentine reads her response to Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler. It’s called An Ever-Changing Idiom and features in the Currency Press series, Cue the Chorus, in which an assortment of respected Australian playwrights respond to the work of their peers. You can download all the responses in the series from our website - currencypress.com.au


A little bit about Alana Valentine. She is one of Australia’s most renowned and respected writers. Valentine writes for the stage, screen, radio and multimedia projects, but is perhaps best known for her plays. She is well known for her rigorous use of research within the community she is writing about. Her work for the stage includes Run Rabbit Run, Parramatta Girls, Cyberbile, Ear to the Edge of Time and Comin’ Home Soon. She has received numerous awards, both in Australia and internationally.

Introduction to Shafana & Aunt Sarrinah l On the politics of Australian theatre

Dr. Christina Ho reads her introduction to Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah. It’s called Creating Identity in a Hostile World. Dr. Ho researches migration, multiculturalism and the politics of diversity, focusing particularly on the experiences of Muslim Australians and the Chinese diaspora.

Rainbow’s End: What’s the definition of a hero? l Thought-provoking Australian theatre

Set in the 1950s on the fringe of a country town, Rainbow’s End is a thought-provoking, often hilarious and emotionally powerful snapshot of a Koori family - Nan Dear, her daughter Gladys and Gladys’ daughter Dolly; it dramatises their struggle for decent housing, meaningful education, jobs and community acceptance.

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Jane Harrison is an indigenous Australian writer and playwright. A descendant of the Muruwari people of New South Wales, from the area around Bourke and Brewarrina, Harrison grew up in the Victorian Dandenongs with her mother and sister. She began her career as an advertising copywriter, before beginning work as a writer with the Ilbijerri Theatre Company. In the late 90s, Harrison was commissioned by Ilbijerri to write Stolen, about the Stolen Generations. The play premiered in ‘98, and was followed by seven annual seasons in Melbourne, plus extensive national and international tours.
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