FLEABAG: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
On Tour – To 07 March
Runs: 1h 5m, no interval
Review: Alexander Ray Edser; Birmingham Rep, 14 01 15
One hell of a journey! Exhilarating.
FLEABAG is a terrifically strong piece of writing. And it’s performed and directed with delicious swagger to create an hilarious and yet moving theatre event.
Maddie Rice is totally convincing as a woman who has lost control of her life, and who we feel, as things spiral more and more out of control, begins to realise it and would dearly like to get it back on track. Rice has charm and humour by the bucketful. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing is acutely observed – however broad the storytelling becomes, her eye for detail never fails her. In this lies the tension between the comedy and the desperate unhappiness. Rice, with apparent ease, communicates these to us.
Moment by moment we are amused, tickled and horrified. We have the thrill of never quite knowing where the journey will take us, but Rice holds on to us so that we never lose confidence in her.
Waller-Bridge, in creating this portrait of a young woman mismanaging her guinea-pig themed cafe, and about to go under, observes the fickle society around her and then explores its underbelly too. No holds barred. She also pulls off the difficult trick of creating a character about whom we understand more than the character herself. So the one-woman play has real depth.
Vicky Jones has directed with boldness and sensitivity, bringing out the hilarious but never at the expense of the human frailty.
Performed by Maddie Rice
Directed by Vicky Jones