From stage to TV and back again

Published May 13, 2020

Guinea pig

I’ve talked before about loving the Fleabag TV show, I came to it late and binge-watched both series in as small amount as time as possible. I hadn’t seen the original stage play, obviously, and missed out on the brief return to the stage that the lovely Phoebe Waller-Bridge completed earlier in the year. (Was it this year? I’ve lost all sense of time.)

Anyway, that meant I was first in line to rent the play when it became available on Amazon Prime. National Theatre have been doing incredible work in keeping us all entertained during lockdown, and keeping theatre in the heart and minds of everyone. Their weekly theatre releases are something I’m definitely planning on talking about separately, but their video of Fleabag took a slightly different route.

To raise money for charity, it’s available on Prime for the low price of £4, and like I said, I snapped it up. Then, I ran out of time and left it until there were only about 30 hours of my rental period remaining before watching. Thankfully I squeezed it in, although to be honest, I wouldn’t have begrudged paying £4 again - that’s a reasonable price, it’s for charity, and theatre is far more expensive than that usually!

And the show itself? Of course it’s brilliant. It took me a while to get into it, to be honest, because PWB comes at it with a slightly brasher, certainly louder, and bit more intense attitude but that makes sense - it’s a different medium, and she has a lot less time to fit in the same amount of material as six whole episodes of the first season.

Having seen the TV show first, I must admit to preferring that, but only because you get more fleshed out supporting characters. In terms of Phoebe’s performance, they’re both exceptional. The amount of humour and heart, loneliness and sadness offset by amazing jokes and dialogue and impressions… it’s just greatness. But you knew that already, and you’ve already rented the show yourselves right? If not, what are you waiting for?

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