Eline Arbo directs Maria Kraakman in author Suzie Miller's award-winning play. Prima Facie is a cutting monologue that caused a stir on West End and Broadway, and has been broadcast worldwide in cinemas by National Theatre Live.
Location At ITA and on tour in the Netherlands
Duration 100 minutes
Surtitles English, 31 May until 13 June
Premiere Thu November 30
Please note this performance contains descriptions and images of sexual violence that may be perceived as confrontational. The performance uses strong lighting effects including a stroboscope. This performance contains images that may be unpleasant for people with emetophobia.
Maria Kraakman plays the role of Tessa, a clever and ruthless criminal defence lawyer specialising in sex crimes. She has broken away from her working-class environment and now resides among the privileged elite. Justice is a sport to her. She feels that, compared to her male colleagues, she undercuts sexual abuse victims in a neat way. Until the tables irrevocably turn. An unexpected event confronts her with the tense relationship between the patriarchal power of the law, the burden of proof, and morality.
With her adaptation of Weg met Eddy Bellegueule (Away with Eddy Bellegueule), Eline Arbo won the Regieprijs 2020 (Directing Award 2020). Last season, she directed the hit performance The Years based on the book by Annie Ernaux, the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. For ITA, she previously directed The Hours after the novel by Michael Cunningham and Penthesilea by Heinrich von Kleist. Since September 2023, Eline Arbo is Artistic Director at ITA.
Eline Arbo on Prima Facie
"Suzie Miller knows how to tell an incredibly beautiful and personal story combined with a burning topical issue: modernising our sex offence code. In the Netherlands, too, we lag behind in protecting victims of sexual abuse. Prima Facie is a piece that brilliantly exposes how the age-old legal system is maintained and who is actually protected by our laws."
In the press
"Maria Kraakman acts masterfully"
"Maria Kraakman triumphs in poignant indictment of antiquated moral laws."
"This monologue is a one-and-a-half-hour tour de force for the actor: Kraakman completes it in a seemingly effortless manner, with humour, as well as overcome with shame and sadness."
Suzie Miller is a contemporary international playwright and screenwriter drawn to complex human stories often exploring injustice. Having been produced in 40 productions around the world winning multiple prestigious awards, she has been commissioned by, or been in residence at theatres including London’s National Theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland, Griffin Theatre Australia, Theatre Gargantua Canada and La Boite Theatre Australia.
In season 22|23 director Eline Arbo brings her play Prima Facie to the Dutch stage.
Eline Arbo is Artistic Director at ITA since September 2023. Previously (2022 - 2023) she was already linked to ITA as Associate Artistic Director. From January ‘23, Arbo will be appointed Ibsen Artist in Residence, an initiative of the Philip Loubser Foundation, which gives directors with an international ambition the opportunity to develop themselves artistically.
In season 23|24 her directions of Prima Facie (Suzie Miller) and The Laws (Connie Palmen) will premiere at ITA and her directions of Penthesilea and The Hours will be reprised.
Ibsen artist in residence
Since January 2023, Eline Arbo is Ibsen Artist in Residence, an initiative of the Philip Loubser Foundation, which gives directors with an international ambition the opportunity to develop themselves artistically. The Ibsen Artist in Residence receives an annual budget for their own artistic development, also outside ITA.
by Suzie Miller
direction Eline Arbo
translation and dramaturgy Anna Sijbrands
scenography Renée Faveere
light Varja Klosse
sound design and composition Thijs van Vuure
costumes Rebekka Wörmann
with thanks to Private Producers Joost and Marcelle Kuiper, Peter Nohlmans and Esther Kwaks
this production is supported by the Philip Loubser Foundation within Eline Arbo's Ibsen Artist in Residency
cast Maria Kraakman