Another chance to see Fleabag on the big screen – it’s a terrifically entertaining showcase for Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s considerable talents

I wonder how many others were belatedly catching up with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s extraordinary Edinburgh debut back in 2013, kicking themselves that, at the time, they went to see something else instead?

Given the global success of Fleabag, it’s hard to credit that the television series’ progenitor was a one hour play, acted out in a dank, claustrophobic broom cupboard of a venue, built into the arches of George IV Bridge in Edinburgh.

Now, six years later and transferred to the proscenium arch of the Wyndham’s Theatre, it may have lost some of its ferocious intensity but Waller-Bridge’s superb comic timing and command of her audience is still very much in evidence.

Although broadly covering the plot points of the first TV series, this isn’t quite the same Fleabag and it is fascinating to note how she subsequently expanded on the themes she covered in the original stage version. Operating in a parallel universe where the Rodent is Scottish and her Dad isn’t,  you might be reminded of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, with a narrative that is both cosily familiar and yet disconcertingly at variance.

So, while this sometimes feels more like a case study on how a writer develops ideas than an adjunct to the Fleabag world, it’s terrifically entertaining and a worthy showcase for Waller-Bridge’s considerable talents.

By David Vass

A further screening of Fleabag has been scheduled for Tuesday 22nd October, 7.30pm