Jodie Comer barnstorms her way through her one-woman Broadway debut, Prima Facie, in a bravura performance that is both crafty and emotionally raw. She plays a cocky British barrister who overcomes her humble Liverpool origins to become a commanding presence in the courtroom, full of swagger as she eviscerates witnesses on the stand and holds her own with her mostly male colleagues in their exuberant post-work pub crawls. She’s not unlike the psychopathic assassin Villanelle that Comer memorably played for four seasons on Killing Eve, flashing both a keen intelligence and an ability to exploit both her looks and her smarts to achieve her goals.

But things take a turn for this legal eagle, who made her name defending the accused in sexual assault cases, when she is subjected to a forced sexual encounter with another lawyer in her office. Even as she drags herself to the police station to press charges, she is all to aware of the challenges she’ll face seeking justice for herself. “In my head I’m cross-examining myself, using my own defense skills to doubt my very own story,” she says, listing all the ways she thinks her testimony could be undermined on the stand — and not foreseeing some of the additional arguments that might emerge at trial.

The before-and-after effect here is astonishing as Comer becomes quite literally a different person after the trial — her blond hair, once flowing freely so she can pull off a flirty hair flip, is now pulled back severely. Her face seems more drawn, her eyes more hollowed and cheekbones more pronounced, as the long two-year wait for a trial drags on. And her voice seems to have been drained of its former confidence.

There’s also a shift in the look of the production, which opened Sunday at Broadway’s Golden Theatre. The double-height shelves of case files that line three sides of the stage disappear and the heavy oak desks and leather chairs that had come represent the sturdiness of the law retreat into the shadows (sets and costumes are by Miriam Buether). Director Justin Martin also deploys manic flourishes of light (by Natasha Chivers) and sound (Ben & Max Ringham), all in an effort to jazz up Suzie Miller’s script, a solid if schematic narrative that veers into polemic toward the end.

But the flashiest effect of Prima Facie is Comer herself. She has full command of the stage, and the material, even as she leads audiences on a journey through her character’s unraveling, the painful recognition that the legal system in which she had invested so much of her time and her trust could fail her so completely. It’s a kind of reversal, a comeuppance in some respects, that is the very definition of tragedy.