National Theatre Live: Prima Facie

Rape, sexual references, offensive language, and content that may disturb Rated on: 27 July 2022

NT Live: Prima Facie

What’s it about?

Jodie Comer stars as Tess Ensler, a working-class woman who fought her way through law school. Now a successful barrister, Tessa efficiently defends sexual assault cases. Her winning streak earns her the respect of her peers.

Tessa’s life is upended when she is raped by a colleague. Her experience forces her to confront uncomfortable truths about her profession and shakes her deeply held beliefs about the law.

The facts

  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • British theatrical production of the one-woman play Prima Facie by Suzie Miller
  • Part of the National Theatre Live series of filmed live theatre

Why did it get this rating?


The film contains limited verbal references to sex.

Rape (sexual violence)

Sexual violence, sexual coercion, and rape are the sole focus of the play. It explores the impact on the victim, the callousness of the judicial process, and the way rape victims are treated by police and the justice system. Rape myths are explored in a narrative where Tessa represents both lawyers and victims.

Rape is described to harrowing effect, conveying the inherent cruelty in the act. The sparse setting and singular actor draws the viewer in and focuses on the themes in a confronting and highly emotional manner. The effect gives the viewer a visceral understanding of sexual assault, including the long-term trauma of the experience.

The play is likely to shock and disturb most audiences and likely to be highly triggering to viewers of any age who have experienced rape.

Offensive language

“F**k” is occasionally used in relation to sex, for emphasis, and during moments of high stress.


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