Southbank Centre’s Book Podcast: Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag: The Scriptures

At the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Phoebe Waller-Bridge stepped on stage to debut her new one-woman show, Fleabag. Now, six years on, that character has grown into a full-on phenomenon, with a sell-out runs in London’s West End and off-Broadway, and two critically acclaimed award-winning television series.

November 2019 saw the release of Fleabag: The Scriptures, which brings together the complete filming scripts of the show’s two series, annotated with stage directions, and new writing from Waller-Bridge. To celebrate this release, Waller-Bridge joined host of The Guilty Feminist, Deborah Frances-White, on stage at Southbank Centre to discuss about all things Fleabag.

In this interesting and frank conversation, the pair explore how the camera came to represent outside pressure to deliver a performance; combatting loneliness by trying to find connections through sex and family relationships, and how the character of the priest became ‘Hot Priest’. Waller-Bridge also explains how Fleabag evolved from a ten minute monologue written to try and make her friend laugh and cry, and how one drunk woman’s feedback propelled it to the current phenomenon it is.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag: The Scriptures by Southbank Centre's Book Podcast


I knew I wanted the second series to be about hope when the first was about cynicism… and if the first series was all about casual sex, I wanted the second to be about the power of a single kiss
Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Fleabag


The venue for London Literature Festival and Poetry International, Southbank Centre is the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK. Throughout the year we host talks, discussions, readings and more featuring bestselling authors, award-winning poets and inspirational writers.

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