Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category
Posted by admin on June 05, 2023

Each year we photograph Tony nominees, and talk with them about their craft. This year we focused on actors.


“Everyone always said theater was incomparable, like there was nothing like it, and I never understood what they meant. When you’re in a room of that many people all experiencing something at the same time, the energy is electrifying, and that has been one of the greatest joys about this experience. It’s intoxicating.” — Jodie Comer


New York Times

Posted by admin on June 05, 2023

Jodie Comer, who won an Emmy for her role of a Russian assassin on TV’s “Killing Eve,” is now an Olivier Award-winner and Tony-nominee for her performance in the one-woman play “Prima Facie,” as a London barrister confronting injustice in the legal system with regards to victims of sexual assault. CBS News’ Erin Moriarty talks with Comer, and with playwright Suzie Miller, about the dynamics of the play, the responses from audiences, and how a “scrappy” young woman from Liverpool with no formal training found success on stage.

Jodie Comer is having a very good year. In April, she took home a prestigious Olivier Award for best actress in the play “Prima Facie.” One month later, she was also nominated for a best actress Tony for the same role on Broadway.

When asked if she expected the impact that the play, and her performance, would have, Comer replied, “No, no, I think we were all really taken aback by it, actually. But I remember when we did the first preview in London – and this was the first time performing in front of an audience – a lot of it was crying, like very audibly and very quite loud and unashamed, and very guttural.”

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Posted by admin on May 26, 2023

Jodie Comer attended the  2023 Outer Critics Circle Awards in which she won the award of Outstanding Solo Performance for Prima Facie!



Posted by admin on May 24, 2023

The script for the play “Prima Facie” didn’t languish after landing in Jodie Comer’s inbox

The script for the play “Prima Facie” didn’t languish after landing in Jodie Comer‘s inbox. Fitting for an urgent call for change, the script demanded action. It would not be denied.

“Sometimes when things present themselves, it’s impossible to say no,” says the “Killing Eve” actor. “This piece felt very, very clear to me. There was no hesitation that I felt. Sometimes that kind of guttural instinct really doesn’t lie.”

It didn’t matter that the script represented Comer’s first stage role. No matter that she’d be alone for some 90 minutes, even asked to move her own props. “I read it within the hour and I was like, ‘What have I got to do?’”

Comer leapt in and has found herself winning an Olivier Award in London for her performance and now a Tony nomination for best actress in a play. She’s also raising her fist for women in a work that challenges the status quo.

The script was from Suzie Miller, a former criminal defense and human rights lawyer who uses the one-woman show to illustrate how current laws fail terribly when it comes to sexual assault cases.

Comer plays Tessa Ensler, a young, clever barrister who has developed a knack for getting her male clients off the hook in assault cases until she spends a night drinking with another barrister and he rapes her.

Now, instead of donning a fancy wig as a crown prosecutor, she’s left shaking in the witness box. Why isn’t her evidence presented in a clean, logical package? She must relive her nightmare in court with her motives questioned. And justice may hinge not on the actions, but on whether the perpetrator believed he had consent.

“A woman’s experience of sexual assault does not fit the male-defined system of truth. So it cannot be truth, and therefore there cannot be justice,” she says in the play.

“Prima Facie” — a legal term meaning “on the face of it” — has already created shock waves in England. A filmed version is now compulsory viewing for new judges, and Miller says a judge who saw her play has redrafted the spoken directions juries are given in sexual assault matters. The play has inspired efforts to change British laws.

Both Comer and Miller get hundreds of messages a week from women telling their own stories of assault, some telling about it for the first time, part of a larger movement fueled by #MeToo.

“I’m really trying to savor every second of it because not every piece of work creates this sort of conversation or space,” says Comer. “That is the biggest reward of all —when you are a part of a piece like this and people genuinely feel represented. That it is a source of comfort.”

To win a Tony on June 11, Comer must beat Jessica Chastain in “A Doll’s House,” Jessica Hecht in “Summer, 1976” and Audra McDonald from “Ohio State Murders.”

In terms of sheer physicality, Comer earns it every night. She moves tables together, jumps up on them, sits in rain, uses various voices and performs her own character’s rape.

“It really helped me build my kind of mental resilience, even though I have moments that is absolutely challenged,” she says. “I would say what I’ve learned from this experience is that you have to take care of yourself.”

Miller was inspired to write “Prima Facie” by the years she spent as a lawyer taking statements from hundreds of women who had been sexually assaulted. “Not a single one of them who went to trial actually ended up having a conviction,” she says. “The worst things is they’re all so similar.”

Her first play, “Cross Sections,” was about the homeless and the desperate living in the red-light district in Sydney, Australia, a work which humanized what many believed were throw-away people.

“After I wrote that there was a lightning bolt moment for me, which was, ‘Oh, wow, stories really can make people empathize and think about things,’” she says.

Miller has since taken up the baton of V — the “Vagina Monologues” playwright formerly known as Eve Ensler, who brings social messages to her work. It is no coincidence that Miller named the heroine of “Prima Facie” Tessa Ensler.

The idea of battling the establishment also attracted Comer, an Emmy Award and BAFTA winner, who grew up in the working class of Liverpool and has had to shapeshift in order to succeed, like her character.

When she was auditioning for theater roles, she was rebuffed because she hadn’t attended drama school. “There was a lot of feedback of like, ‘She’s not trained. It’s too big a task,’” she recalls.

The producers of “Prima Facie” didn’t ask her to audition and didn’t mind she hadn’t attended drama school.

“They didn’t see it as this kind of hindrance. And so I guess the stars all aligned at the right time,” Comer says. “This is beyond anything I could have ever dreamed.”


The Independent 

Posted by admin on May 22, 2023

Jodie Comer is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.

Just over a month ago, Jodie Comer took the stage at the Royal Albert Hall to accept an Olivier Award for her outstanding performance in Prima Facie. Now that she has brought the monumental role to Broadway, is a Tony Award next?

“The relationship with the audience has been so special. The effect that this story is having on people… we receive letters daily,” she told BroadwayWorld’s Richard Ridge. “We’re seeing firsthand how this play is provoking change.”

Below, watch as Jodie chats more about how the play is impacting audiences, the honor of this nomination, and so much more. Plus, check out who she is up against and catch up on all the latest Tony Awards coverage!


Posted by admin on May 15, 2023

The ‘Killing Eve’ actress made her West End and Broadway debut in the role, in which she is solo on stage for the entirety of the drama.

In the play Prima Facie, Jodie Comer is alone on stage for the full length of the show’s 100 minutes, starting as a brash, bloviating barrister, then turning to a quieter, more vulnerable woman trying to find justice for herself in the very legal system that had previously propped her up.

Before making her West End debut in the play last year, the Killing Eve star says she hadn’t appeared on stage (aside from a play in a “very, very small theater” in Scotland when she was 16 years old). And so taking on this marathon role not only required intense dedication and memorization, but also a recalibration of her acting style in order to emote to an 800-plus seat theater, rather than to the camera.

In the drama, written by Suzie Miller, Comer plays Tessa Ensler, a talented, young lawyer who defends individuals accused of sexual assault and then goes through the justice system herself as a victim of rape. Comer has been playing Tessa since April 2022 on the West End (where she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress) and has now carried the role to Broadway for an 12-week run that began this April. One year in, she says the role has made a deep impact on her life.

“I realized that I was quite fearful last year of a lot of things, especially in my ability to do this,” Comer said. “And I think that actually, through this experience, I’ve been able to transform that into a sense of trust, which is a really nice feeling.”

Once she gets through the final eight weeks of the run, the Free Guy star says she’s open to doing more theater, but she notes that she’s “intrigued to see” what kind of role could bring her back, after performing in such a challenging, but “exhilarating” play.

Comer, who is Tony nominated for her portrayal, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about why she decided to take on the role, how she prepared for it and how its changed throughout the year.

What did you think when you were first approached about doing this role?

I thought that this was mighty in every sense of the word. I wasn’t actually sure if I needed to audition or not. So I was also thinking that it may have been sent to many actresses and whoever was going to do it would be the luckiest person alive. But I also just didn’t know how I would get to a point of executing it. I knew it was going to be a challenge and it was going to change me as a person. I was looking at like 96 pages of dialogue and thinking “How on earth would you be on stage alone and do this?” so I was really overwhelmed, but just blown away by the script and the journey that I would go on in order to get to a place of performing that eight shows a week. I was deeply moved by it. It felt very important.


Did you end up having to audition for it?

No, it was actually given to me. I asked my agent “When do I have to audition?” And she said that James Bierman, the producer, and Suzie Miller, the writer, had said if it was something I connected with, Suzie would love to chat with me. And I remember it was the first lockdown and I was in Liverpool with my family and Suzie was in Australia and we jumped on a call and we were on the phone for like two hours. I just knew then that there was no question. And I also knew that if I saw another actress do this, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I think that’s always a good indicator as to whether to do something or not.

How did you get into the character of Tessa?

There was so much about her that I related to because of where she’s from, her family. Just being from Liverpool and the characteristics of the people who are from there, people I know, people who are in my own life. I think a big thing that I had to kind of embrace was her intellect and sense of self and power that she held and self-confidence. That felt…not foreign to me, but I almost had to embrace those parts of myself in order to find her. And how she commanded the space and the confidence that she carries in her execution. I think I definitely do have that within myself, and I’ve come to appreciate that a lot more through her, which is funny. I think that you can, more often than not, learn from your characters. It’s a transaction. It’s like, you teach them something and they always leave you with some sort of insight into your own life.


In the play, you’re not only speaking as Tessa, but you’re also acting out all the lines of dialogue around her. How did you prepare for and get to the place of being ready to perform that eight shows a week?

We started rehearsals in March [2022] and I had started learning the dialogue the November before, because I really wanted to be off book by the time I got into the rehearsal room. And then Justin, our director, got me up on my feet on the first day. It was kind of all systems go, and I hadn’t been in the rehearsal room a lot. I’d only been in a rehearsal room once before when I was really young, and it was all very new to me, and I was incredibly intimidated and nervous. But it was just about being in the rehearsal room and getting up on our feet and working through it and playing around with things.

How does it feel now, performing this role in front of audiences every night?

Exhilarating. It feeds my soul in such a big way. I think it is absolutely difficult and challenging, but it really invigorates me. I feel like I’m having a conversation with 800-plus people every night and getting to see how it moves them. And I think in theater, the energy is very kinetic, and it’s so addictive. I just feel so, so lucky that I’m able to be part of this huge puzzle of people who brought this together. It’s rare that you’re blessed with a piece of material and a role that challenges you in this way. So I’m just trying to soak up every second of it all.

You’ve now been with the play through its West End run and now on Broadway. Has the role changed at all or evolved during that process?


Absolutely. I think now it’s just kind of sunk into me. The material, Tessa. I feel like I’m finding new things. I also feel very much changed by this experience. And I think we can change so much within a year. So I feel like through my own evolution, Tess is also evolving just through different things every night that I find and think, “Oh God, I’ve never done that before” or “That felt good, and why didn’t I think of that last year?” That’s what I was actually really excited about being in the rehearsal room [this time]. We got a few weeks before we went into tech when we came to New York and just had that constant kind of discovery of going “Oh, wow, you know, why didn’t we think of this last year?” and it’s just because you’re having to think about things less.

Can you talk more about how the experience has changed you? 

I think a lot of it is deeply personal, that I don’t necessarily feel the need to speak about, but I feel like a woman. I feel like I’ve stepped into my womanhood. I feel like I have so much more trust within myself and who I am. I realized that I was quite fearful last year of a lot of things, especially in my ability to do this. And I think that actually, through this experience, I’ve been able to transform that into a sense of trust, which is a really nice feeling. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments, but I just feel like I have a clearer sense of who I am.

With such a heavy subject matter, are you able to leave the role at the theater or do you carry it with you?


I do a little cool down on stage afterwards and kind of consciously let go of it. Just the practical movement of stretching your body and trying to let go of anything that you’re holding on to is really helpful. My mornings are a bit slow. Sometimes I wake up and I feel like I was kind of hit by a train. It’s generally okay. You just have to make sure that you take care of yourself because I think it’s in those moments when you slip up with those things that you can feel it a little bit more. But anything I can kind of help myself, a voice cool down, body cool down. I come home, and I’m sticking my head in the fridge for about an hour-and-a-half [laughs]. That sounds weird. I mean, just more that I snack nonstop.

That makes sense. You’re on stage for so long, and you’re also running around and jumping on tables. 

Yeah, you’ve got to refuel.

Posted by admin on May 12, 2023


In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast features in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy actors and creators. Join host and senior editor Vinnie Mancuso for this guide to living the creative life from those who are doing it every day. 

Earlier this month, Jodie Comer scored a Tony nomination for her work in Suzie Miller’s one-woman play “Prima Facie.” In the show, which debuted on the West End last year, the actor plays Tessa, a barrister whose sense of self is upended by a sexual assault. It’s an astonishing 100-minute performance in which Comer—best known for her Emmy-winning turn on BBC America’s “Killing Eve” and her role in Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel”—doesn’t leave the stage once. Given the skill with which she takes audiences on that journey night after night, it’s easy to forget that this is her Broadway debut.

“When I took on this role, I didn’t know how I was going to do it, truth be told. And I think that was a huge draw,” Comer tells us. “I was completely in awe. I thought, How will I ever execute this? I was really interested in that journey of: How do I get from where I am now, having no idea how I’m going to do it and struggling to imagine it, to performing this eight nights a week?”

On this episode of In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast, Comer dives deep into how her performance took shape and the realities of carrying a Broadway show on your back eight shows a week.

Comer’s leap into theater involved accepting that no two performances are the same. 

“The first preview we had was euphoric. I really only remember the last 10 minutes of it; it was like someone was literally carrying me around the stage. And then the second night, I remember just thinking the whole way through, Just get to the end; just get to the end. Because I felt like I was pushing it, you know? It was so hard. It’s about learning that every show is so different. It will be what it will be. It’s kind of throwing it over your shoulder and letting it go, then getting the next opportunity the next evening or the next afternoon. I’ve really enjoyed embracing that. I think there’s something really healthy about having to embrace that mentality.”

She has also embraced rolling with the kind of mistakes that only happen in live theater. 

“We had a night a couple of weeks ago where it actually just became hilarious. The jacket fell off one of the chairs. And I was like, When am I going to get that? When am I going to pick that up? So I picked it up and put it on the wrong chair. It would have been the chair she uses as the bathroom when the assault happens, so that wouldn’t have been great. So then I was figuring out, OK, how do I get the jacket off? Then I picked up the wrong folder, and the folder wouldn’t go back in the wall. I forgot to take my coat off. This was all one night. I came offstage, and we were all like, ‘What the hell?’

But there was something wonderful about that. It really enabled me to go, Right, this is my space. It’s not the end of the world. I’m in control of this. Once you have those kind of moments, you realize, Oh, I have permission to command this space.”

More important to Comer than awards recognition is the impact “Prima Facie” is having on the audience. 

“We get so many people reaching out and writing letters. There was one lady who had seen the play in London and said she was moved; she was crying in the audience, and the play had enabled her to have conversations with their family about her own sexual assault. She then came to the show on Broadway and wrote to us saying how her life over the past year had drastically changed. And then she was in the audience in [the show’s] final moment, in a very different point, surrounded by other women who were having the experience that she had the year before. I thought, There’s something so poignant about that—how it is helping people and what that experience is for people when they’re sat watching surrounded by everyone else. It’s really powerful.”

Comer’s goal with every project she takes on is to stay true to herself.   

“As long as I go into something for my own reasons, with integrity and a clear view of what it is I am getting from it and what it is that I wanted to do, I feel like it is much easier to then accept when things don’t necessarily resonate with an audience or isn’t critically acclaimed or people don’t think it’s good. It’s much easier to separate myself from that when I know that I did the job because I believed in it, I love the character, and I was proud of the work that I did.

If I’d taken ‘The Last Duel’ because it was guaranteed to change my life financially and I’d never have to think about anything ever again, and then it flopped? Then I have to live with the fact that I haven’t been true to myself.

With ‘The Last Duel,’ I was so proud of it, and so honored to get to work with Ridley. I’d always wanted to do a period film. When I met my agent in London for the first time, I remember [her] sitting there going, ‘What is it you want to do?’ I essentially was just like, ‘I want to be Keira Knightley.’ I think that is what I literally said. So that was a huge moment for me, personally. So of course, to be a part of something like ‘Prima Facie,’ which is resonating in this way and has been nominated and won awards, is amazing. But I think if you just stay true to yourself, it’s easier to let that kind of thing slide over you.”

Posted by admin on May 05, 2023

New York Times-The actress hopes that the production will continue to generate discussions about sexual violence, and noted the amazing reaction.

That Jodie Comer should be nominated for her role in Prima Facie, which has already earned her Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Theater Awards, should not come as a surprise to anyone. Except, apparently, Comer herself.

“I’m in shock ,” she said from a taxi on Tuesday morning.

In Prima Facie, which also received nominations for Best Stage Design, Best Lighting and Best Sound, Comer plays Tessa, an ambitious young lawyer whose world is turned upside down after she is raped by a colleague. With pity, sensuality, and genuine emotion, Comer reenacts this attack and its aftermath 8 times a week, standing on stage in the rain (usually, though not always, warmed up by the backstage crew) while Tessa tries to take a fresh look at her life and existing laws.

Comer hopes the play will continue to spark discussions about sexual violence and that her nomination will benefit the many women she is trying to impersonate. Below are edited excerpts from our conversation.

What do you feel?

We’ve come a long way with this piece – I never thought we’d get to this point. So it’s an incredible feeling. The overall response has been amazing and I am very, very grateful that the work of so many team members has been appreciated. I can’t emphasize enough just how much team effort was put into this production.

That evening, when I was watching the performance, I heard some of the audience crying at the very end. Does the local public react differently than the London public?

The only difference, in my opinion, is the mood. But given how global the topic itself is, the reaction was very, very British. Many people have sent us backstage letters telling us about their experience of watching the play and how it affected them. We were also contacted by people who managed to see the play both in London and on Broadway to share how their lives had changed over the past year. Therefore, there is a feeling that we can have the same conversation here.

Your nomination is clear proof of the production’s stunning debut on Broadway. But given what the play is about, do you think the nomination means a lot more?

I hope so. There are so many people in this world that I am grateful for their existence and that I represent. This nomination should speak not only about me.

What’s the fun in playing Tessa despite what happened to her?

In the whole production, I love the journey that Tessa is going on. The evolution of this woman, even in a truly difficult period, her sense of self, strength and resilience – this is what I am delighted with. She emerges from the current situation definitely changed, but definitely not defeated. Tessa is still hopeful. We get a lot of messages in the spirit of “I felt broken, but at the same time inspired.”

Posted by admin on May 03, 2023

Jodie has been nominated for Best actress in the following category at the 2023 Tony Awards: 2023 / BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
, huge congrats to Jodie!



Posted by admin on May 03, 2023

The actress said she hopes that the play continues to generate discussions around sexual assault and said the response so far has been “beautiful.”

That Jodie Comer should have received a nomination for her work in the solo show “Prima Facie,” a role that already won her Olivier and Evening Standard Theater awards, should have come as a surprise to no one. Except apparently Comer.

“I’m in shock,” she said from the back of a taxi late Tuesday morning.

In “Prima Facie,” which also earned nominations in three design categories, Comer plays Tessa, an ambitious young barrister who finds herself transformed after a colleague rapes her. With compassion, bold physicality and raw, febrile emotion, Comer enacts that assault and its aftermath eight times a week, standing in the stage rain (which the backstage crew has usually, though not always, warmed up) as Tessa struggles to gain a new perspective on her life and the law.

Comer said she hopes that the play continues to generate discussions around sexual assault and hopes that her nomination is in service of the many women she endeavors to represent. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

How do you feel?

We’ve been on such a journey with this play. I never dreamed that this would be a point that we would be at. So it just feels incredible. The response has been beautiful, and I just feel very, very grateful that so many on the team have been recognized as well. I can’t stress enough how much of a team effort this piece truly is.

On the night I saw the play, as it ended, I could hear several women weeping. Has the response here been any different than it was in London?

The only difference, I would say, has been to the humor. People find humor in different moments. But given the subject matter, which is so universal, the response has been very, very similar to the U.K. We’ve had a lot of people sending letters to us backstage, explaining their experiences watching the play and how it affected them. And we’ve had people reach out who came to see the play in London, and have also come to Broadway, expressing and confiding how their lives have changed within the past year. It feels like we can have the same conversation here.