Triple Theatre treats for me – as my thespian side almost spontaneously combusted with excitement.
I watched the highly acclaimed Fleabag penned by one of my writer heroines. Phoebe Waller-Bridge in all her gorgeous glory, beamed live as part of the National Theatre series.
As usual I was sitting in my special spot at my favourite vibrant venue, Chapter Arts Centre. And I had a cheeky twenty quid voucher from my work besties for a meal and Merlots to boot.
I won’t lie to you I was gutted that I ‘snoozed and loosed’ getting the London tickets before they sold out in about three seconds. This however was a mighty fine substitute.
I was so excited when the lights came down, the curtain rose, and Phoebe entered stage left. And she certainly did not disappoint as she took us through ninety minutes of the original rip- roaring One Woman show.
The brutally honest, often near the knuckle, sometimes painful but always outrageously funny Fleabag was laid bare.
Phoebe took us through an emotional rollercoaster as she talked through her now infamous characters’ lives.
Her dearly departed Bestie, uptight sister, creepy brother in law, spiteful stepmother, and hopeless boyfriend were all hilariously recounted.
And of course there’s always the steamy, sometimes sordid, sex life – with others, or on her own, that Waller-Bridge speaks about with a relatable honesty never seen before on our prime time screens.
We were also treated to her tales of drunken girls in bars, casual picks up in the pub, and dating disasters on the Northern Line.
And we heard of some of the characters in her quirky little Guinea-pigged theme cafe, and her constant struggle with cash to keep it’s doors open.
The soliloquy at the end, at a job interview of all places, was one of the most raw and real I have ever heard.
A fitting Finale that managed to be both painfully real and rip roaringly funny at the same time.
Unbelievable to think that only a few years ago, Fleabag was a little One Woman Show at the Edinburgh festival
Two television series later, the outstanding Killing Eve, plus the offer to write for the next Bond Film, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge was shot from a scruffy stage door in Scotland to super stardom in Hollywod.
That now iconic picture of her after the Academy Awards, glamorously gorgeous, chillaxed in a chair, smoking a fag, with five gongs strewn around sums up the woman and the writing for me.
Phoebe Waller Bridge is funny, feisty, flawed, and fearless – just like the women she beautifully puts pen to paper about.
She’s also becoming a bit of a role model too. If her story doesn’t show women, and men, everywhere that talent and tenacity really do make dreams come true, I don’t know what does.
After the two television series, and this run of super successful shows, Fleabag is no more.
Thank God I managed to catch it at Chapter before that sold out too as it proved one of my top ever theatre treats.
PWB – you are a legend.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
One of Wales Arts Review 100 Women Writers of Wales, the dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, will keep you “informed, entertained and inspired.”
Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.