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'Fleabag' play to be streamed online for COVID-19 relief effort


Agence France-Presse

 /  Thu, April 9, 2020  /  08:07 am
'Fleabag' play to be streamed online for COVID-19 relief effort

Actress and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the FLEABAG Emmy For Your Consideration screening event held at The Metrograph in New York City on May 8, 2017. (AFP/Angela Weiss)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's play, on which the Emmy-winning series is based, is being released online to raise funds for various COVID-19 charities.

The live production of "Fleabag," which was recorded in 2019 at London's Wyndham's theater, is currently available to stream from today in the UK and Ireland on Soho Theatre's On Demand site.

The show is available for a 48-hour download for £4 (about $5), with all proceeds going to charities like the National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together and Acting for Others.

Fees will also benefit the newly-launched Fleabag Support Fund, which will distribute grants of £2,500 to freelancers working in the UK theater industry who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, "Fleabag" will be available to stream from Friday, April 10 for a two-week period in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, as well as on Amazon Prime Video for theater lovers in the US.

Waller-Bridge, who received a Fringe first award for "Fleabag" at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, discussed the initiative in a statement.

Read also: Phoebe Waller-Bridge thanks Obama in Golden Globe acceptance speech

"I hope this filmed performance of' Fleabag' can help raise money while providing a little theatrical entertainment in these isolated times. Thank you to all our partners and to the creative team who have waived their royalties from this production to raise money for such vital causes in this unbelievably challenging situation. All money raised will support the people throughout our society who are fighting for us on the frontlines and those financially devastated by the crisis, including those in the theatre community. Thank you in advance to those who donate. Now go get into bed with Fleabag! It's for charity!" she explained.

First performed in 2013, "Fleabag" was written as a one-woman play by Waller-Bridge in an effort to chronicle "some sort of woman living her sort of life."

Last March, London's National Theatre launched its "National Theatre at Home" initiative to bring filmed stage productions directly to home viewers amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Among them are Richard Bean's "One Man Two Guvnors" featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden; Sally Cookson's adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre"; Bryony Lavery's stage adaptation of "Treasure Island" and more.

New performances will be released on the National Theatre's YouTube channel each week, along with behind-the-scenes talks and cast interviews.

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