Skip To Content

    These Are 19 Essential Differences Between "Fleabag" On Stage And On Screen

    We'll never get to see Harry's "podge" 😭

    Just FYI, Fleabag is still running and there are some sort-of-spoilers ahead! You can check out future screenings here.

    1. There are no other actors.

    National Theatre / Via

    I guess the most obvious difference is that there are no other actors in the stage show. It is a one-woman monologue, and that one woman is the legend and icon Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

    2. The Bank Manager is the only other voice we hear.

    BBC / Via

    The disembodied voice of The Bank Manager, played by Hugh Dennis in the TV show, engages in conversation with Fleabag at the beginning and at the end of the play, but is a much smaller part than in the TV version. He declines Fleabag a job when she interviews with the bank and never goes to the cafe or an anger-management retreat unlike in the TV series.

    3. There's no fourth wall stuff.

    BBC / Via

    The trademark fourth wall breaking lines that Fleabag delivers in the TV show are not a part of the stage show per se, but the theatrical style is super raw and candid. I can only assume this device was used to reflect the original monologue’s confessional vibe.

    4. The cafe is informally known as the "death cafe".

    BBC / Via

    Much of the action is centred around the cafe unlike the multiple locations of the TV series. It is explicitly given in the stage show that the reason no one comes into the cafe is because of its association with Boo's death, which was all over the local papers. This isn't ever spelled out in the TV show, although the cafe is suspiciously unpopular, and one might correctly assume it has something to do with Boo.

    5. There is a character called Joe.

    BBC / Via Getty Images /

    Joe, a character who will be unfamiliar to fans of the TV show, is a cockney geezer who frequents the cafe even after Boo's death. In the stage show, he is described as an overzealous older man who had a soft spot for Boo and Fleabag. In the TV show, some of his traits are combined with Hugh Dennis' character, The Bank Manager.

    6. Harry is podgy.

    BBC / Via

    Harry – although he obviously never appears on stage – is described as having a bit of a podge, which Hugh Skinner definitely does not.

    7. Martin is Scottish.

    BBC / Via

    Fleabag’s “explosively sexually inappropriate” brother law was originally Scottish, unlike his American TV counterpart.

    8. Godmother is a much smaller part.

    BBC / Via

    Godmother, played by everyone’s favourite Olivia Colman, barely gets a look-in in the stage show, which seems inconceivable! She appears at the top of the stairs when Fleabag first calls on her father whilst drunk, but Fleabag doesn’t go inside the house and so they never have any interaction.

    9. Fleabag doesn’t steal the torso statue.

    BBC / Via

    The whole storyline revolving around the theft of Godmother’s sculpture of a woman’s torso doesn’t exist in the stage play, since Fleabag never actually goes up to the studio.

    10. Fleabag tries to reach out to Claire.

    BBC / Via

    In the stage show, Fleabag wants to ask Claire for a drink after they attend a feminist lecture together but is afraid to. In the TV show, Claire actually does ask Fleabag for a bev, but she declines. It seems that Claire is less concerned and less proactive in her relationship with Fleabag on stage.

    11. Arsehole guy is a much smaller part.

    BBC / Via

    They do have sex and it does involve anal but after that they never see each other again, despite Fleabag’s efforts.

    12. He's also ginger.

    Rich Fury / Via Getty images

    KJ Apa eat your heart out.

    13. The Bus Rodent character is actually called Tube Rodent.

    BBC / Via

    Fleabag actually meets Bus Rodent – one of her love interests – on the Northern Line instead of a London bus. That changes everything!

    14. Hilary the guinea pig gets kicked.

    Dev Marya / Via Getty Images

    In the stage show, poor little Hilary gets kicked TWICE across the cafe because she startles Tube Rodent when he visits the cafe one evening.

    15. She also dies.

    BBC / Via

    I feel the stage show is actually a lot darker than the TV series, since it focuses more intently on Boo’s death and the many ways in which Fleabag’s life is now full of despair. One of the darkest points is when Fleabag fails to look after Hilary after she is kicked and eventually crushes her to death with her bare hands to prevent her further suffering. I mean...

    16. Claire doesn't go to Finland.

    BBC / Via

    She “ums and ahs” a lot in the TV show, but at the end of the stage play, Claire ultimately decides to stay with her family and not accept the job offer in Finland.

    17. The cafe closes.

    BBC / Via

    At the end of stage show, the cafe shuts down because Claire doesn't end up giving Fleabag the £5000 investment she offers when she stops by one day. It's insinuated that she might have offered it on a whim and Fleabag is too chicken to ask her for it.

    18. There's no hot priest!

    BBC / Via

    Sorry! The stage show pretty much only covers the material from season one of the TV show, since it was the inspiration. So no sexy priest. YET.

    19. It's even funnier than the TV series!

    BBC / Via

    So if you get a chance, go and see it!