This production is a Stage Must-See


Underbelly, Cowgate

Theatre Reviewed by Lauren Paxman

Good news travels fast, and one of this year's early word-of-mouth success stories at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is Phoebe Waller-Bridge's biting solo comedy, Fleabag, directed by Vicky Jones.

We're introduced to 'Fleabag' during one of the most awkward job interviews imaginable, before being thrust back in time to learn how the bankruptcy of her guinea pig-themed cafe has forced her back onto the job market.

On paper, there's not much to like about our heroine. She's posh, self-obsessed, flippant and the kind of girl who would unrepentantly have sex with her friend's boyfriend. But against all odds, Waller-Bridge manages to get the audience on side with a series of witty lines about sexting, slutty pizzas and YouPorn - and some spot-on rodent impressions.

The actress' speedy, throwaway delivery initially grates, until you realise just how cleverly she is embodying an annoyingly privileged 26-year-old who is frustrated at no longer being able to get exactly what she wants. As we spend more time with 'Fleabag', though, an unexpected, almost-sensitive side is revealed. Could her obsession with sex be a symptom of crippling loneliness, or is she just being far more honest with herself than the rest of us?

Believe the hype, Waller-Bridge's raw writing and fearless performance really is as good as everyone says.

Published online
Review by
Lauren Paxman
Produced by
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Vicky Jones
Running time
1 hour
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