Phoebe Waller-Bridge's comic solo play went on to inspire a hit television series, now she brings the original show stateside for its NYC debut. 'Fleabag' is a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life. More…
Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose.
“She had me laughing helplessly...Waller-Bridge is such a confident entertainer...Waller-Bridge steers us confidently from the comic horrors of the London singleton life into some very, very dark waters. She does so with unerring technical skill and a kind of cockeyed compassion for Fleabag; if she is a monster, she is an all-too-recognizably human one...A slick comic routine wedded to a cry of despair, ‘Fleabag’ is both perfectly awful and awfully perfect.” Full Review
"Deliciously inappropriate humor peppered throughout, becomes secondary to the underlying tragedy that keeps bobbing up to the surface to catch you off guard...It has the pinpoint observational comedy of great standup, the fearless honesty and shamelessness of a raw confessional and the subtlety to draw you in...It's both gut-bustingly funny and gut-wrenchingly sad...This is punchy, ferociously funny and expertly nuanced storytelling by a writer-performer in full command of her singular voice." Full Review
"A sensational and spirited revival...What centers Waller-Bridge’s show is not only her razor-sharp wit, and her gift for narrative and comedic surprise, but also her performance...and she maintains a presence on stage that is rivetingly authentic...Vicky Jones directs with well-timed precision...For fans of the TV series, it’s fun to see how certain characters exist only in the periphery in the stage version...Both versions work. Brilliantly." Full Review
"'Fleabag' throbs with a concentrated, combustible vitality...Oh, the places she takes us, the hilarious heights and the despondent depths (or do I mean the opposite?)...Ms. Waller-Bridge deploys an ace stand-up’s sense of timing...'Fleabag' segues with canny purposefulness among earnest wistfulness and dismissive flippancy, scorching pain and echoing, hollow silence, giving equal weight to each...It’s so gloriously disruptive." Full Review
"The hype is completely justified...Waller-Bridge's priceless facial expressions do half the work as she flinches in disgust, or bunches her lips up to portray a date...Vicky Jones's less-is-more direction further focuses an already powerful performance...We're riveted...Like an intense cross between Lena Dunham and David Sedaris, Waller-Bridge mines the unglamorous truth of urban living and turns it into comedy gold." Full Review
"Waller-Bridge is a brilliant comic in total technical control, and she shapes her monologue perfectly around her own skills. She subverts and then re-subverts expectations at whiplash speed, detonating small bombs of emotion just when we expect a joke. As an expression of craft, it’s dazzling....What a lot of fun falling apart seems to be!...I, for one, recommend it with all my slovenly heart." Full Review
"Waller-Bridge’s chameleon-like delivery, mannerisms, and facial expression changes make it feel like a much more populated production...This monologue contains multitudes...A beautifully written and performed clash of the real and surreal; the profane and very serious...Waller-Bridge doesn’t set out to shock as much as to make what we perceive as shocking everyday...The writing is deliciously without limits, with taboos more vaporized than trampled." Full Review
"Aside from being a writer who defies genre so adroitly, Waller-Bridge is an actress of considerable depth and skill. Both her writing and acting abilities are magnificently showcased...Waller-Bridge is a startlingly good actor. She is completely unexpected, absolutely beguiling, and one of the most charismatic performers I’ve ever seen on stage...Leaving no one in doubt who she is channeling at any moment...She has the comic genius of a Carol Burnett." Full Review
"Not a play for the easily offended. It is an extended monologue on sex, dating, pornography, masturbation, dysfunctional families, and more. Brilliantly written and performed by the British comedian Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a sensational New York debut at the Soho Playhouse, it reminds us that the solo form can really pack a dramatic punch...This physically expressive actor is also charming, smart, outspoken—and her sensual and philosophical thoughts are cloaked in contradictions." Full Review
"Waller-Bridge is the type of captivating performer who can hold an audience rapt while exerting almost no visible energy...Under Vicky Jones’s simple but precise direction, she individuates character shifts with startling alacrity...An emotional journey that will feel simultaneously cringe-worthy and relatable to many...Being alive is complex and contradictory, a wonderful and frustrating slog – and Waller-Bridge captures it with a documentarian’s eye." Full Review
"In this sharply-told nugget of a play, this unfiltered, sexually obsessed and profane character brilliantly reveals the thin divide between the comedy of lashing out and self-deprecation — and the pain, sadness and introspection that hide within...Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag has an allure and likability even when she says such terrible things about her family, her lovers and, of course, herself...While laughs are plentiful, loneliness, disappointment and death are there, too." Full Review
"Nothing has dulled Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s sharp-edged, caustic, comedic solo show...At times, the darker, contemplative corners of the play can get lost in the rip-roaring crowd reaction...Yet, intentional ellipses are there in the writing and performance...Eventually, Waller-Bridge’s writing extracts the quiet attention and gasps she seeks...Waller-Bridge’s performance is intimate and layered." Full Review
"The witty, filthy, tragic one-woman show arrives stateside, with all its jagged edges still intact...Comedy as provocation and ambush, 'Fleabag’s' material will be familiar, and possibly thinner, to anyone who has seen the television series. Still, 'Fleabag' live offers Waller-Bridge in all her mesmeric, rubber-faced glory." Full Review
"Simultaneously entertaining and disturbing...Genuinely funny when it wants to be—and obviously intended to be. All the same, it’s about someone who, at her distressed core and at the end of the day, is living a life not so darn funny...Even then, when it is funny, it’s most often funny despite itself, funny in the way of people attempting humor to lighten embarrassment and shame." Full Review
"An intense, very funny 65-minute mashup of pleasure and pathos...Minus the slick production values and expanded cast on TV, the stage version is Waller-Bridge by herself, perched but always ready to take flight...As she launches into an extraordinarily raunchy stream-of-consciousness discourse on her various conquests...you begin to suspect you've wandered into an X-rated stand-up routine. But there's much more to this piece." Full Review
"Waller-Bridges’ portrayal of her grief, and the slow onion peel of her role in her friend’s silly, terrible death, is still affecting here, even if it feels like the first season’s six episodes had much more time to let that narrative arc breathe. All of these nitpicks are moot, of course, if you haven’t seen the TV show...It’s still a brisk, clever, and indisputably engaging evening of theater, performed at a level of intimacy that most Phoebe Waller-Bridge fans can only dream of in 2019." Full Review
"Waller-Bridge is mostly just telling a story. She sometimes speaks as the characters, but even then, she rarely varies her delivery, which is best summed up as rapid and with a British accent, which might offer a challenge to some untraveled Americans...There’s a funny bit in the TV series about the café that’s not in the monologue...But then there are things about the guinea pig in the monologue that are not in the TV series, and they are both comic and tragic." Full Review
for a previous production "This is filthily funny monologue...The unnamed protagonist is a clever, witty, and desperately lonely young woman...numbed to almost all emotional connection...'Fleabag’s' too clever to think feminism doesn’t matter to her but too sad to do much about it...As both writer and performer, Waller-Bridge knows how to work a crowd, and from the show’s bittersweet beginning to its devastating end, she has the entire room in the palm of her hand." Full Review
for a previous production "One of the funniest, filthiest and most disturbing shows you're likely to see, packed with dry humour and guilty laughs. The superb solo performance from Waller-Bridge, who also wrote 'Fleabag,' is an epic achievement...Phoebe Waller-Bridge is so good at flipping audience emotions that it can occasionally feel as if we're being played like fish on a line – but hey ho, it's worth it. A masterly comic creation...Waller-Bridge wants this story to reach into audience hearts. She succeeds." Full Review
for a previous production "'Fleabag' is a rare piece...The live show brings the extra pleasure of watching Waller-Bridge’s skill at goading and controlling the audience. She deliberately kills big laughs with transgressive details that draw appalled gasps or groans. Her physical and expressional versatility is even more impressive in the flesh, as she instantaneously creates charades...The character is a fascinatingly complex creation." Full Review
See it if you want insight into millennials.The promiscuity is unsettling for me, but it is fascinating to see into her mind.Incredible performance
Don't see it if you are easily offended by language or tales of sexual exploits.She is so brilliant that you find yourself drawn in against your will.
See it if You enjoy one person shows. You liked the series, it’s fascinating to see the original and see what it took to adapt the piece.
Don't see it if You dislike characters that are self-indulgent. You need action to be interested in a story or production.
See it if The tightest 65 minute piece you will see this season (or not—run is sro—sorry!). PW-B brilliantly straddles the comic/tragic razor’s edge.
Don't see it if This is R to X-rated material so it’s not for prudes, but she doesn’t use it gratuitously. Perfect companion piece to the Bezos Prime show.
See it if You like edgy, ribald, often moving, in your face monologues about mesmerizing self-destructive women.
Don't see it if Dirty words, lots of sex talk, cruelty to hamsters your basic hilarious train-wreck of a show.
See it if You enjoy Waller-Bridge's performances & writing (on stage & in the tv show). You are hungry for works about complicated female characters.
Don't see it if You do not enjoy discussions of explicit sex, or find brief descriptions of animal suffering troubling.
See it if you like warts-n-all confessions. PWB is engrossing. What's the point: sex can destroy lives? No matter, you'll enjoy the wild ride.
Don't see it if you condemn immorality. But if you like to laugh/want to root for a lost soul, go to see PWB's performance. Then (re)watch the gr TV series.
See it if you like something refreshing and different, a one-woman marvel about feminism and self, delivered in typical British humor and sass.
Don't see it if you're conservative and easily offended by strong explicit language and raw honesty, or if you dislike one-person shows and indirectness.
See it if You want to see a one woman show executed brilliantly - Phoebe Waller-Bridge is absorbing, raunchy, and vulnerable. Fucking brilliant.
Don't see it if You're easily offended by vulgarity - especially from a "dirty feminist", dislike British humor, and prefer traditional plays.
See it if You’d enjoy a unique one woman show that brings you from laughter to tears over and over. Phoebe W-B is a brilliant writer and performer.
Don't see it if You’re uncomfortable with graphic talk about sex; you don’t like one person shows; you want straightforward narrative
See it if You haven't seen the tv show on Amazon or BBC. Heart wrenching look at a confused woman seeking acceptance all the wrong ways.
Don't see it if You are embarrassed by frank sexual discussion. You dont want a one woman show on a bare stage with no props or "cover".
See it if It’s a wonderful absorbing show that will make you laugh and cry.
Don't see it if You’ve seen the TV show. It’s a rehash of the TV show. I still enjoyed it but I didn’t know like...how much it was going to be the TV show
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