Fleabag | NT Live Screenings
Phoebe Waller-Bridge used to run scratch nights of new writing.
Each time, she’d provide the writers with a new brief, like “make the audience fall in love with a character in under five minutes”. That night, the audience were each given heart-shaped helium balloons, which they released at the moment they clicked with the character on stage.
If she’d done this with Fleabag, you wouldn’t have been able to see for balloons.
Her stratospheric rise to fame started with a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe; an unfalteringly honest and gripping monologue borne out of her obsession with audiences and the ability to sucker-punch laughter into raw emotion in 60 seconds. Thanks to her distinctive asides to camera, it translated brilliantly to TV; she won herself millions more fans; and left everyone heartbroken when she decided not to write a third series.
The good news is, she’s going to be returning to the stage to play Fleabag – for the last time ever – this Autumn.
The bad news is, tickets sold out. Immediately.
The other good news, however, is that you can still see her in action. The National Theatre will be filming one of the performances and broadcasting it live, as part of their NT Live programme. They’ve been doing this for a decade now, and have got it down to a fine art – not only can you still appreciate the buzz of a live performance, you’ll get other angles and close-ups that you wouldn’t get in the cheap seats.
It’s going to be screened in some of London’s plushest cinemas, including the Barbican, Rich Mix, Picturehouse Central, Kino Bermondsey, The Everyman and Islington’s Screen On The Green. They’ll be relaying the performance live on 12th September, but they’ll also be screening it on several dates after that, so you’ve got a lot more opportunities to catch it.
Buy yourself a ticket. It can count as your next feminist lecture.
NOTE: Fleabag will be screened with NT Live on 12th September, plus various dates after that. To see which cinemas are screening it, and to buy tickets (£20), head HERE.
Main image: Tristram Kenton
Like one-woman shows? Catch another great play at the Soho Theatre.