Westside star headlines Centrepoint’s new comedy
Hold on tight, Fleabag is coming!
Star of TV3’s Westside Sophie Hambleton, is set to unleash a riproaring account of one 21st-century female in the New Zealand premiere of Fleabag, a riotous onewoman show written by Broadchurch’s Phoebe WallerBridge.
Joining the ranks of refreshingly honest women like Caitlin Moran, Amy Schumer and Girls creator Lena Dunham, Fleabag is the goddess of filth and superhero for the ‘‘me’’ generation in this sidesplittingly funny – and unashamedly naughty – play.
For one hour only, Fleabag lets us see the world through her eyes as she navigates a life going nowhere after sabotaging her relationships with her boyfriend, her family, and her best friend. A modern Bridget Jones with a mouth like a sailor, Fleabag is not, as writer Waller-Bridge is quick to point out, based on herself, although ‘‘maybe she’s the litte bit of devil in us all’’.
‘‘[ Fleabag] came from a frustration and a rage about the objectification of women – it’s tiresome and exhausting to be surrounded by it. It’s so drilled into her brain that she sexualises everything – herself, her friends, her food, her job. She’s got to the point where she believes that sex defines her completely.
‘‘People may recoil in horror at some of the things she says, and think she’s repulsive, but I understand her and I think other women can relate to her,’’ says Waller-Bridge. ‘‘There’s a vulnerability that I hope people can see.’’
Director Heather O’Carroll, who returns to Centrepoint Theatre 10 years after appearing in Weighing In, says she is excited to work at the helm of this critically-acclaimed play.
‘‘I love good comedy writing that feels current and unashamedly authentic to women now. Directing this has also provided me with the opportunity to work with Sophie, who is not only a brilliant actress, but also a dear friend.’’
Chapman Tripp award-winner Hambleton says she is terrified but excited about performing in her first ever solo show. ‘‘I love its honesty and how it beautifully captures an aspect of life for people in my generation."
Call the babysitter, grab your girlfriends, and come meet your new best friend Fleabag for an upclose and personal chat. This is comedy storytelling at its very best, with all the unspoken nitty-gritty of real life. It may not be pretty, but it’s funny as hell.
Fleabag, originally performed by Waller-Bridge, won a host of awards after its debut in 2013 including a Fringe First Award, The Stage Best Solo Performer, Off West End Award for most Promising Playwright and the Critic’s Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright.
Fleabag runs from September 2 to October 1, Wednesday 6.30pm, Thursday-Saturday 8pm and Sunday at 5pm. Tickets adults $40, group 10+ $36, senior/under 30/CSC $32, tertiary $20, high school $18. Bookings 06-354-5740, centrepoint.co.nz; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophie Hambleton is Fleabag.