Soho Theatre have announced that they will be making Phoebe-Waller Bridge’s comic tour de force Fleabag Live available to stream from their website. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the theatre, Waller Bridge’s DryWrite company, and the National Theatre’s NT Live.
The one woman show, which formed the basis of the smash hit BBC series, saw the actress perform to sold out crowds in London’s West End as well as on Broadway last year.
Fleabag, which Waller Bridge penned herself, has made the actress into a massive star, with a string of other high profile acting and writing credits to her name, including a a part in the latest James Bond movie.
In early 2019, Waller Bridge announced that the 2019 run of Fleabag would mark her last performances of the monologue, with the star eager to move on to other projects. However, with the Coronavirus Crisis causing untold damage to the arts and those who work in it, the actress has agreed to allow the work to be made available to stream, on the understanding that any monies raised should go to charity.
Waller-Bridge said: “I hope this filmed performance of Fleabag can help raise money while providing a little theatrical entertainment in these isolated times. Thank you to all our partners and to the creative team who have waived their royalties from this production to raise money for such vital causes in this unbelievably challenging situation.
“All money raised will support the people throughout our society who are fighting for us on the frontlines and those financially devastated by the crisis, including those in the theatre community. Thank you in advance to those who donate”.
Fleabag focuses on the daily struggles of a confused and often angry young woman living in London. The character, who is never identified by name, spends her days either having sex or daydreaming about it. As the story unfolds, however, we begin to realise that the character’s seemingly sexually liberated actions are in fact a mask for much more complex problems.
Waller Bridge began performing the show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. Fleabag proved an immediate success, with the actress performing the monologue periodically since then. In 2016, the BBC’s Damian Kavanagh and Shane Allen commissioned a series of the show for BBC3. The first episode of the programme appeared on the channel in July 20116.
For information on other great programmes to stream in London, please click here.
The charities who stand to benefit from the initiative include:
- The National Emergencies Trust (NET) Coronavirus Appeal, which runs a series of local charities and food banks.
- NHS Charities Together – an initiative which supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.
- Acting For Others – a charity which provides financial and emotional support for theatre workers
- The Fleabag Support Fund – this charity, which has been set up by Waller Bridge, will offer grants of up to £2500 to freelancers in the theatre industry who are struggling in the aftermath of the Coronavirus Crisis. Waller Bridge has made “a substantial donation” to the charity which has begun life with a fund of £356,000.