For those who have watched the first season of “Fleabag,” the live rendition is a treat. However, if they haven’t, you may wonder what the hype is about.
|Screenplay By||Phoebe Waller-Bridge|
|Date Released (Amazon)||4/10/2020|
|Genre(s)||Drama, Stand Up Comedy|
|Duration||1 Hour, 20 Minutes|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
“Fleabag,” both the character and stage play, retraces Fleabag’s downfall – One that includes a string of hookups, bad relationships of every kind, and the death of a friend. Which, in itself, reveals to you why the title character is not given a name, for she truly adheres to the title’s description.
If You Watched The Show, It’s A Nice Trip Down Memory Lane
With every storyline we are reminded of, from Boo, to Harry, the rat-faced guy, and more, “Fleabag” jostles your memories and triggers happy thoughts. Especially since, as Waller-Bridge quickly rushes through stories and descriptions, you have a visual. Making it so, it is like reading the book after seeing the movie. You get little extra details that were cut, and it leaves you feeling like you got little snippets that didn’t make it into the final product.
On The Fence
If You Didn’t Watch The Show, This Will Not Make You Think You Missed Anything
One of the things we weren’t necessarily fond of was most of the show Waller-Bridge is sitting down. Alongside that, her tone makes it so that connection, the breaking the fourth wall that makes the show so funny, that isn’t necessarily there. You get she is talking to you, but her manner of speaking, the rush, the pondering, you feel less like a friend and someone looking into a two-way mirror. One in which, on the other side, you are watching someone on the verge of a mental breakdown retrace how she got to rock bottom.
This leads to a handful of feelings: As someone who watched season 1 and 2, it made this feel like a dramatized recap. One which didn’t have the same charisma and intrigue as the first season. Also, I would dare say, it lacked the complexity of the show as well. For with not getting to know Boo, seeing them, and Waller-Bridge up there by herself, there was no magic. A few laughs, sure, early on, but after a certain point, it is like a dramatized reading of a random HBO show that has nothing going for it beyond weird sex.
Which, for those who don’t have the show to reference, I can easily see them getting bored of this quickly. For while Waller-Bridge is a wonderful writer and brilliant actress, it seems she needs someone to play off of to really shine. Because, when alone, there is no one to challenge or spark her. Making it where you can see the effort, but you don’t get the payoff.
Would Watch Again? – One and Done
Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit disappointed. Granted, happy I didn’t go see this as a Fathom Event last year, which would cost far more than $5, but still nonetheless disappointed. For as much as we enjoy “Fleabag” the show, the stage play just doesn’t compare. And while, yes, part of the reason is we saw the more fleshed out adaptation, it’s a bit sad to say the original left us feeling, “Meh.”