Fleabag

Hilarious, dark and brilliantly-crafted, Dry Write’s production of Fleabag at the Underbelly is heart-wrenchingly honest. This one woman show explores all the complexities of modern life: masturbation, bad feminism and guinea pigs, taking on the big questions with poignant and ridiculously funny results.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge perches on a stool and takes us, with the help of occasional off-stage audio dialogue, on a journey into her world. What a world it is. Her boyfriend’s left her, her family life is non-existent and her best friend has just ‘accidentally killed herself’. How does she intend to deal with this? She’s not quite sure, so attempts to fill the void with sex. And alcohol. And more sex.

Waller-Bridge is one to watch. Her performance has a fluidity and flair that is nothing short of phenomenal and her script is spot on. The minimal staging (one chair) and minimalist lighting complemented Waller-Bridge’s performance excellently: alone with her script she is mesmerising. She has managed to create a character that is both deeply flawed yet utterly lovable, there were points during the show where I wanted to jump up and give her a cuddle (and then perhaps a slap). Dry Write states one of its aims as creating female characters who are a tad more realistic than the average heroine you may find at the Fringe - Waller-Bridge has definitely fulfilled this.

However, I do feel more could have been done on the heavier aspects of the script. Some lines were delivered in a manner so flippant that there didn’t seem to be any emotion felt at all. People do not confront their fears - this is true, yet the tidbits of information the audience receives on the circumstances around Boo’s death left me wondering why we hadn’t witnessed a breakdown at any point. Perhaps the Fleabag doesn’t feel emotions as we do but it would have been interesting and more believable if we could’ve seen a glimpse of some of the grief and guilt that must have surrounded the incident. This is a minor point though - more a niggle than a real worry while watching the performance.

Fleabag is a very impressive show about a very real young woman confronting very real issues. It is also extremely funny. If you’ve got a free evening you’d be a fool to miss it.

Reviews by Zoe Hunter Gordon

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Performances

The Blurb

Today I'm going to be a new person. No more slutty pizzas. No more porny wanks. Lots more lovely threesomes. Go. The Fleabag bites back. A rip-roaring account of some sort of female and her sort of life.

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