I wasn’t lucky enough to be one of the people who saw this live but, thanks to National Theatre Live, I managed to see Fleabag in all its non-BBC glory (not “Gifted”, I purchased the tickets for my birthday).
Directed by Vicky Jones and starring the exceptional Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag centres on the titular character as she navigates sex, family, friendships and coping with grief.
Though it was without the cast I grew to love in the BBC series, I adored the fact that it was simply Waller-Bridge and the audience. That way, it felt even more intimate than the cheeky breaking of the fourth wall that characterised the series. It was stomach-clutching level funny, with jokes about things that definitely shouldn’t be joked about, so even people who haven’t seen the TV series will love it.
Another thing which made it great was the fact that it really honed in on the sense of grief Fleabag feels after her best friend, Boo, kills herself (something which took up the first series of the TV show). She’s emotional and sensitive in her dealing with grief, and the performance is so intimate I very nearly shed a tear.
The only bad thing I will say is that, even though it was great to get chance to see it in theatres, I really wish I’d seen it on stage.
Still, I can completely understand why Waller-Bridge’s career is going from strength to strength. She’s refreshing, clever and hilariously unfiltered: the perfect thing for all the chaos in this crazy world we live in.
Fleabag is available to watch in your local theatre, see http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/ntlout37-fleabag for details
(Image © National Theatre Live)