Prima Facie, which yesterday started rehearsals, 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.
Throughout the season, the production is giving away free tickets to 10 partner school groups that work with the charity, so they can bring their students to see the show and access further ancillary support. Alongside this the production will be donating and raising money throughout the run to support the essential work the charity does to educate young people in the UK about consent.
Set up in 2014 by barrister Kate Parker, The Schools Consent Project is a charity which sends lawyers into schools to teach 11-18 year olds the legal definition of consent and key sexual offences. Their aim is to normalise these sorts of conversations amongst young people; to empower young people to identify and communicate their boundaries, and to respect them in others. To date, they have spoken to over 20,000 young people across the country.
Kate Parker commented:
“The Schools Consent Project is delighted to be partnering with Jodie, James and the whole Prima Facie team during its two-month run at the Harold Pinter Theatre. The play shines a critical spotlight on the themes of consent, the criminal justice system and the female experience – topics we discuss daily with young people in classrooms across the country in our lawyer-led workshops on consent. The production is radical for a West End stage, as is its willingness to have a wider community reach. We are very excited about the impact of this partnership on the behaviour and thinking of the young people we work with.
Jodie Comer commented:
“The Schools Consent Project is something that I wish had been available to my friends and me growing up. It’s crucial that we include younger people in this important conversation. It’s an honour to be able to partner with this great initiative.”
Rebecca Lucy Taylor commented:
“I often get asked how can it change? What can be done. An us vs them mentality is pointless. The system is instilled from birth and the only way to make real long lasting change that isn’t born out of fear or force is education. The complicity of women in our ‘behaving’ goes hand in hand with the entitlement given to and encouraged in men. If I had been taught in school to even slightly ask for more my life would have played out differently. I am thrilled to support and work with this charity and find a way to effect change together.”
James Bierman commented:
“All of us involved in PRIMA FACIE are honoured to be able to highlight and support the essential and brilliant work that Kate and her team at THE SCHOOLS CONSENT PROJECT do up and down the country. To try and change the horrific levels of sexual assault we have in this country we have to change the way we as a society see and talk about consent. By educating young people the Schools Consent Project team are making the future a better place.”
Prima Facie, directed by Justin Martin, stars Jodie Comer. She 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.
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; defending; 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.
Prima Facie is produced by James Bierman for Empire Street Productions.