Fleabag, NT Live at Salisbury Playhouse

PHOEBE Waller-Bridge is omnipresent: “Killing Eve,” the screenplay for the next Bond film and, of course, “Fleabag.” Her star’s in the ascendency and this re-run of her one-woman show is filling cinemas nationwide.

I’ve written about NT Live (Encore) before: it’s “catch-up” for theatre-goers, West End shows without having to send the kids down t’pit to pay for the tickets; new-style, 21st. century cinema.

Sadly, though, some things never change: the endless adverts. There were adverts for other NT Live productions, then adverts for the adverts, then the adverts again. Finally, a famously-forgettable Z-list celebrity popped up to explain what all the adverts were about, before reading some adverts for the current show. Then, just as my bum was going numb on the tiny seats and I was thinking it must be time to pop home and put the sprouts on for Christmas lunch, there she was, Queen Of The Hyphenated Middle Classes, seated on a high chair before our very eyes. I would have genuflected, but my arse was so stiff I couldn’t stand up.

Fleabag fans will know the story. This show spawned the first series yet, somehow, it’s wackier, more pervy. Ooh, and it’s dark - a Plato’s Cave of sad, repulsive, pseudo-pornographic, guilt-ridden imagery: if it’s comedy as therapy, then PW-B is in deep psychological doo-doo. But, God, it’s compulsive – Schadenfreude-steeped depravity in spades. Yes, yes, yes!

If you missed the TV series, then start your Fleabag journey with an NT Live (Encore) screening. An astute writer, PW-B draws you in whilst making you ashamed of your inappropriate laughter: it’s not for the faint-hearted, but you can’t help sniggering at her self-flagellatory debauchery.

Of course, in time, all stars burn out. Then, celebs either do “Strictly” or write a lubricious autobiography. Strictly’s a busted flush. The biog should be worth waiting for, though.

Chris Parkinson-Brown