People

Phoebe Waller-Bridge just revealed the real meaning behind the name Fleabag, and it all makes sense

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag.

Appearing on This Morning to celebrate the release of the Fleabag stage show on Amazon Prime, Phoebe Waller-Bridge revealed exactly where her protagonist’s iconic name really comes from.     

Let’s just get this straight: the world did not deserve the masterpiece that was Fleabag. Bestowed upon us by the incredible Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the “tragicomedy” was everything we ever wanted out of a TV show and more – evidenced by the fact we’re still talking about it a year after the final episode aired.

However, we’ve taken one key fact about the award-winning series at face value – although we’ve noticed that, unlike her sister Claire, Waller-Bridge’s lovable but oh-so-flawed protagonist isn’t given a real name (neither are the Hot Priest or Horrible God Mother), we’ve never known where the name ‘Fleabag’ actually came from… until now.

Appearing on This Morning to talk about her decision to release the stage version of Fleabag online, Waller-Bridge revealed exactly where the name Fleabag actually comes from – and why it’s so apt for her character.

“Do you know what? I struggle to describe what a fleabag is,” she says. “Fleabag and Flea were my nickname when I was younger, so I try to hold onto the positive connotations.”

You may also like

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: This screenshot of the first Fleabag review shows how far the writer and actress has come

She continued: “A fleabag motel is rough around the edges and a bit of a mess. I wanted to call her that – I wanted her persona and outside aesthetic to show that she’s in control of her life when in reality she’s not.”

Explaining why she decided to release the recording of the stage version of Fleabag – which she performed on the West End last year – Waller Bridge said it was “incredible” to have something she could use to raise money.

“This is a really scary moment for a lot of people I know, friends and people who worked on Fleabag. So it’s incredible to have something like this in our back pocket to bring out and raise money.

“I thought Fleabag was done, I’d put Fleabag to sleep and thought ‘she’s gone now’. But in some ways, she’s sneaked her way back in.” 

You may also like

Phoebe Waller-Bridge reveals the powerful life lesson she learned from Fleabag

The money raised by the performance will be split between a number of charities supporting those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including NHS Charities Together and The Fleabag Support Fund, which aims to provide financial aid to freelancers working in theatre, comedy and cabaret.

The stage version of Fleabag is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: BBC

Topics

Share this article

Author

Lauren Geall

Recommended by Lauren Geall

Life

Stop everything. The Fleabag stage show arrives on Amazon Prime this week

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's iconic one-woman play is finally available to watch at home - and it's for a great cause.

Posted by
Jazmin Kopotsha
Published
Life

We were this close to a Fleabag and Hot Priest happy ending, says Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Can we get a do-over on the season two finale? Please?

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published
Fashion

You better believe Phoebe Waller-Bridge kept the Fleabag jumpsuit

And she can’t wait to wear it again.

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published
People

Phoebe Waller-Bridge consulted a real-life priest to create that iconic Fleabag character

... and this is what happened.

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
Life

Phoebe Waller-Bridge just revealed that Fleabag almost had a very different ending

And only a handful of people in the world know what it is.

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published