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Hamburg Premiere

The solely witness

Stefan Grund
Katharina Schüttler as Tessa Jane Ensler Katharina Schüttler as Tessa Jane Ensler

Katharina Schüttler as Tessa Jane Ensler

Those: Bo Lahola

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Katharina Schüttler shines on the Hamburger Kammerspiele as a lawyer within the monodrama “Prima Facie” by Suzie Miller. She performs a profitable lawyer who turns into a sufferer of rape.

DThis girl has performed it: Tessa Jane Ensler is a profitable legal lawyer in London. Her specialty: clearing males of rape allegations and creating doubts about their purchasers' guilt till there isn’t any longer sufficient to convict them. She dances by way of the procedures, which she sees as a combat, like a profitable boxer. She deceives, lulls the opposing witnesses into security after which strikes, making them victims for the second time. Not solely do the victims need to endure the ache they suffered once more through the trial, they’re additionally often the one witnesses to the crime alongside the defendants.

Lawyers field purchasers out

The actress Katharina Schüttler is now taking part in Ensler on the Hamburger Kammerspiele within the monodrama “Prima Facie” by Suzie Miller within the German translation by Anne Rabe. She acts in an summary set directed by Milena Mönch (Jonas Vogt, who additionally completely designed the costumes) on two pink platforms that alternately symbolize the courtroom, her condo and her workplace. Ensler is dressed like a profitable boxer, carrying white boxer shorts, a T-shirt from the Italian luxurious model Moschino with the inscription “Gilt without Guild” and a silk, gold bathrobe that will do honor to a boxing champion.

Fight is Ensler's life. She fought her approach up from a humble background in Liverpool to the legislation college of an elite college. She prevailed in opposition to her fellow college students who had been born with a golden spoon of their mouths and was the most effective in her 12 months. And she is subscribed to Siege within the courtroom, as a result of each lawyer is barely nearly as good, the viewers learns, as his final case. Until in the future, after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, she falls sufferer to rape – by a drunk colleague who doesn't settle for her “no”, presumably as a result of they've already had intercourse earlier than. She decides to report him.

Structural injustice in legal legislation

Schüttler, who appears tailored for the function, does an incredible job. The skilled stage and movie actress is simply as utterly convincing as a profitable manipulator as she is within the oppressive, detailed description of her personal rape – and as a sufferer who doesn't wish to quit regardless of poor prospects of success, with the guts of a boxer. She transforms from a self-confident, profitable girl to a shocked, insecure sufferer and a brand new greatness within the closing argument, which she provides as a witness. The director sensitively provides Schüttler each alternative to shine, and Schüttler makes use of it brilliantly.

Before beginning her profession, creator Suzie Miller labored as a lawyer and assisted many victims of rape. She is aware of what she is writing about when she makes the issue behind it clear on this case, which from a authorized viewpoint is brutally constructed on the border between guilt and innocence: the structural injustice of the system in the case of abuse, as a result of with out third events as witnesses, perpetrators make excuses virtually at all times seem extra plausible than accounts of victims who’re traumatized and shocked and likewise entangled in contradictions. Miller sensitively and elegantly exhibits what occurs when, for instance, she lets the narrator change from the primary to the third individual when describing the rape – after which again once more.

An accusation and an attraction

Ensler's protection speech in court docket on the finish of the well-made play and the narrative of the trial – which isn’t coincidentally harking back to Kafka's “The Trial” – turns into an indictment of the truly present constitutional state. Criminal legislation and procedural guidelines can hardly do justice to the ladies who’ve develop into victims. One in three ladies expertise sexualized violence of their lives. “Something has to change,” says Ensler, and “I see all the women who came before me and the women who will come after me.”

Hamburg Kammerspiele; Dates: till March 1st