Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Fleabag

A woman bumbles through life from one misadventure to another finding solace in all the wrong ways as she tries to deal with a recent tragedy. This is the play that started the hit BBC-TV comedy series.

Presented by Hey Boss in assoc. with DryWrite & Soho Theatre
Reviewed 28 February 2018

The popular BBC comedy series written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge began as a one-woman stage show and it’s a welcome and familiar script for fans.

Directed by Vicky Jones and starring Maddie Rice, Fleabag is a peak into the hysterically funny misadventures and outrageously quirky outlook of one woman who is barely coping after a recent tragedy.

Rice is utterly superb and commands the stage despite remaining seated for a majority of the performance. The sharp, provocative script by Waller-Bridge would be a challenge for any actor but Rice handles the depth and pathos faultlessly, while delivering the ample laughs with equal skill.

She takes on the personas of the many characters she encounters as her character stumbles through life in a drunken, sex-crazed, desperate search for answers. Despite the lack of movement, the sharp storytelling builds each scene and they’re easy to imagine as the events unfold.

Lovers of the TV show will recognise many of the characters and scenes, from the man on the train to the hampster café. Rice’s delivery is quite similar to that of Waller-Bridge, which is the right way to deliver such a defined character. There’s enough to make it her own, while paying homage to the much-loved persona that fans will recognise.

Fleabag is an intelligent and heartfelt comedy. It’s a story with a lot of soul, protecting itself with a thick blanket of comedy. You’ll laugh till you cry then cry till you laugh again.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Rating out of 5:  5

Venue: The Box, The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park, Adelaide
Season: Until 18 March 2018
Duration: 65 minutes
Tickets: $25 – $35
Bookings: FringeTix

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