REVIEW: FLEABAG (Curve Leicester) ★★★★
Following the BAFTA award-winning BBC series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre brings the acclaimed stage production of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s cult hit, Fleabag, to Curve Leicester this week.
Fleabag is stumbling through her twenties in the Big Smoke. She’s just lost her mum, her sister is anorexic, her best friend and business partner recently killed herself and her dad has abandoned her. Add in a few disastrous job interviews and a sprinkle of failed relationships, and you’ve got the foundation of a pretty dark but nevertheless outrageously hilarious, and completely filthy one-woman show.
Maddie Rice treats us to her interpretation of the role, and she’s downright spectacular. Her comedy timing is impeccable and she delivers the lines so meticulously that it’s almost hard to believe this is a script recited night after night and not material she’s coming up with on the spot.
Fleabag is a morally vacuous person, which we eventually learn is definitely not just limited to her addiction to porn, masturbation and meaningless sex (no spoilers here). The script is side splitting and shocking all at the same time. There are times when you’ll throw your head back with laughter and others where you’ll find yourself questioning whether she just went a bit too far (referring to domestic violence as “sexy” springs to mind).
Either way, this is a performance that has an incredible amount of depth. The final 15 minutes are sure to leave you feeling a little bit shocked to the core and you won’t be able to take your eyes off Maddie’s gripping performance. It might not be one to bring your grandparents to, but it’s definitely fantastic viewing.
Reviewed by Rosie Bambury
Photo: Richard Davenport