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Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca Lucy Taylor’

It takes a lot of bravery to make your stage debut in a 105 minute one-person play on a West End stage, but Jodie Comer manages to exceed expectations. It’s a very good play and an excellent production too, so its not just a star vehicle.

Tessa is a young criminal law barrister who specialises in defence, in particular sexual harassment cases. In the first part she shows us her craft, developing strategies and arguments, grilling witnesses, doing her job. Important flashbacks to her law studies at Cambridge and visits home to Liverpool gives us her background; a bright Liverpudlian working class girl who’s excelling in a world of posh boys.

Then the tables turn and she’s a victim. We follow her experience from police investigation through an extraordinary wait for trial to the trial itself, where roles are reversed and she’s on the witness stand. Then playwright Suzie Miller takes a big risk and ends in campaigning mode, but by now we’re heavily invested in both the character and the inadequacies of the justice system, so it proves to be an impassioned ending.

Miriam Buether’s giant set, shelves full of legal tomes rising out of sight, doesn’t dwarf the actress, it gives her the space she needs to animate the story. Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s music, Ben & Max Ringham’s sound design and Natasha Chivers lighting invest the show with atmosphere, increasing the tension. I much admired how director Justin Martin combined these components to provide a truly riveting experience which held you throughout.

In more than forty years of theatre-going, i have never seen a more impressive stage debut. Jodie Comer’s fast delivery, piercing audience contact and physical prowess take your breathe away. Her transitions from predatory lawyer to injured victim to passionate campaigner are extraordinary. She is so mesmerising you can’t take your eyes off her.

A great night in the theatre.

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