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by Suzie Miller

Prima facie" is a legal term that means "prima facie evidence" in German and means something like "until revoked" or "as long as no new evidence emerges". In the play of the same name, the presumption of innocence is renegotiated.

Despite top grades, straight A's and excellent Bachelor's degrees, two thirds of all students at the Top Law School do not complete their studies. Of those who do, only half go on to work as lawyers. And only five of them as lawyers. But Tessa has made it.

The working-class child who fights hard for her place becomes a successful criminal defence lawyer who wears her horsehair wig with pride. Like all criminal lawyers, Tessa believes in the law, in the system and in the presumption of innocence, which for her is not an empty phrase but the foundation of a civilised society. That's why she also defends the accused, looks for loopholes in the prosecution and meticulously examines the statements of victims and witnesses.

And Tessa is one of the best at her job. As a lawyer, Tessa is concerned with the truth and the evidence that will help her defendants be declared "innocent" before the law - no matter whether drug trials, corruption allegations or sexual assaults. In cross-examination, sympathies play no role, everyone has to face the lawyer's sharp questions, including victims of alleged sexual assault, whose statements are analysed and taken apart in court.

Until the day when something happens that Tessa would never have thought possible: Her colleague, with whom she is having an affair, becomes sexually assaultive after a date. While her life collapses before her eyes, Tessa goes from being a defence lawyer to a prosecutor and now experiences the events in the courtroom from the other side.

Can the system Tessa believed in so much protect her - or will it let her down in the end?

Australian playwright Suzie Miller's award-winning monologue premiered in Sidney in 2019 and has already had successful premieres in London's West End and most recently on Broadway.

Translated from English by Anne Rabe

Director: András Dömötör

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Additional information
Language: German with English surtitles
Participating artists
András Dömötör (Regie)
Moïra Gilliéron (Bühne und Kostüme)
Tamás Matkó (Musik)
Jasmin Maghames (Dramaturgie)
Mercy Dorcas Otieno