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Phoebe Waller-Bridge brings her Fringe First-winning one woman show to the Soho Theatre

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a highly accomplished actress - most recently in Jack Thorne's superb bathroom-set play Mydidae - and now proves herself an equally accomplished writer.

Fleabag is an often very funny but deeply disturbing tale of a sex-addicted young woman struggling to control the natural urges which mask deeper psychological traumas.

On the surface she's a polite middle class girl running a 'hamster-themed' coffee shop, reminiscent of all those nice middle class girls running gentrified coffee shops across the UK, but dig a bit deeper and she's a sexual predator.

She masturbates herself "raw" watching internet porn, indulges in a threesome on her period (leading to the gruesome image of a bloody handprint on the bedroom wall) and has more to do with the death of her best friend than she may care to admit.

Like so many of us, Fleabag uses humour to mask her pain. She tells us her mother died two years ago from a double mastectomy, then adds flippantly "it was particularly hard because she had amazing boobs".

Waller-Bridge delivers her lines with pin-point precision, jumping between a multitude of colourful characters, be it her on-off boyfriend or an inebriated girl on the tube. And she makes salient points about the implications for feminism of total sexual liberation.

It's not flawless - Fleabag at times feels more like a cipher of neat one-liners and wider social commentary than a believable individual - but it's an extremely accomplished debut, deserving of both its recent Fringe First and a wider audience.

Fleabag continues at Soho Theatre until 22 September 2013