Fleabag – Smock Alley – Review
Fri 11th – Sun 13th December at 8pm in The Boys’ School
Saturday matinee 2pm
We get to meet the protagonist of the piece as she staggers down the ramp towards the stage in a gold sequin dress. ‘Do it with a Rockstar’ by Amanda Palmer plays loudly over the speaker system ‘Do you wanna dance? Do you wanna fight? Do you wanna get drunk and stay the night?’. Our Fleabag dances wildly to it; the type of dancing you see from the very drunk at music festivals. She kicks off her dress and struggles to put on some clothes that were scattered around the stage. It’s an introduction you won’t forget in a hurry!
This is a one woman play written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and first performed by her at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. It tells the story of a young promiscuous woman in London. While there is only one woman on stage, there are a number of other recorded voices, including the rodent faced man she met on the tube, a potential employer at an interview and other family and friends. We get a good segment of her life which revolves around one thing; sex. She says she only feels alive when having sex. It is what gives her life meaning and she spends most of her time thinking about it. She is something of an addict, but at the core she is just a deeply unhappy and quite lonely woman trying to make sense of life and her place in it.
This is quite a part for Hannah O’Reilly to take on. The monologue is over an hour in length and has a fast paced delivery which doesn’t hold back. We get to hear her discuss threesomes and anal sex, but it is all done with a fragility that allows a level of compassion. At all times she is on the verge of breaking, and it is this sadness that makes the character rewarding. The female character really changes the perspective of the piece. If it was a male, would we think of him as a stud instead of a slut? Why is male promiscuity allowed and female shamed? It’s a piece that will have you talking long after you leave the theatre.
Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Directed by Emily Murray and Hannah O’Reilly
Starring Hannah O’Reilly