Raw, rude and revealing...but oh so funny
Fleabag, The Goose Nest, Warwick Arts Centre, until May 12.
Written by Phoebe Waller- Bridge, Fleabag was a one woman show which made its debut to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. I have never seen an episode of the award winning BBC3 TV show which followed in 2016 but, after watching Maddie Rice perform this stage version, I will certainly make a point of looking out for the forthcoming series planned for next year. Maddie gives a very polished performance as a sexually active but emotionally insecure woman in her mid 20’s during a time in which she is struggling to keep her guinea pig themed café going, coping with the deaths of her mother and her business partner, as well as experiencing problems with family and friends. Her performance is delivered from a centre staged, high red stool and she is ably assisted by voiceovers representing prospective employers, receptionists and ex boyfriends complemented by other superbly timed sound effects. Throughout the performance she skilfully appears to confide in the audience and shares some very graphic accounts of her sexual experiences and other anxieties. From the opening scene when she inadvertently gives the wrong impression to a man at a selection interview she has her audience laughing and giggling, sometimes with embarrassment. We hear about a series of meaningless sexual encounters and adventures (including the extraordinary acrobatics she performed in order to send a boyfriend a vaginal selfie), all delivered with impeccable timing and accompanied by hilarious facial expressions. Fleabag is a highly original performance representing a modern woman of today sharing her true feelings with a trusted friend. It is extremely funny, sometimes shocking, but provides an hour of superb entertainment (but definitely not for the prudish!)