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Was Noel Coward the original Fleabag?

Featuring: the hot priest, PWB and a dressing gown.

Fleabag is back! If you didn’t manage to get tickets for Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman stage show (they’re harder to come by than attractive priests) then you’re in luck - we’re showing it live on the big screen this September. And whaddya know, Fleabag’s Hot Priest will also be gracing our screens this autumn. Not in Fleabag, though (hence one-woman stage show.). He’s starring in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, captured live from The Old Vic. Andrew Scott plays Garry Essendine, a character who is, essentially, the male Fleabag. Here’s why.

Fleabag and Garry both, er, get around

Fleabag’s brutal honesty about her bedroom (and alley way and supermarket) antics echoes Garry’s revolving door policy on partners. He just can’t help being so desirable.
Fleabag article

The writers wrote the parts for themselves to play

Noel Coward wrote Garry as a caricature of himself and was the first to play him on the stage; and can you imagine any actor other than Phoebe Waller-Bridge pulling off Fleabag?

Charm, charm and more charm

Neither character is particularly likeable on paper, but their twinkling charm will have you rooting for them even as they admit to some truly depraved behaviour.
Fleabag article

Identity crises and dark humour

Grief, turning 40, an imaginary friend hanging on your every word: both Fleabag and Garry are grappling with deep existential questions. But, like, in a funny way.

Complex relationships galore

There are no straight-forward relationships for Fleabag, just as Garry struggles to juggle his wife, several rather full-on admirers, an over-eager playwright and his long-suffering secretary.

Iconic looks

Was Garry Essendine’s iconic dressing gown the Fleabag jumpsuit of its day? Both outfits do offer a similar hint of chest.
Fleabag article

Interesting seating

Self-explanatory, really.
Fleabag article
Fleabag article
Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life. blank

NT Live: Fleabag

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Fleabag Fleabag
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (BBC’s Sherlock, Fleabag) in Noël Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter. blank

NT Live: Present Laughter

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Present Laughter Present Laughter

What else have the Fleabag cast got coming up?

  • Andrew Scott is keeping busy: he’s also going to be in 1917, the WWI drama directed by Sam Mendes
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been called into jazz up the Bond 25 screenplay (out next year)
  • You can catch Bill Paterson (Fleabag’s dad) in Ben Wheatley’s upcoming adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca