Fleabag

Here's a little blog post on Fleabag.

On Thursday 12th I went to see the live stream of Fleabag [SPOILERS]. I really enjoyed the performance and it was interesting to compare it to the tv show. What did they do in the transition and why? Well, here are some of things I spotted and cogitated on:

  • The removal of the regular customer (Fred? Joe?). This character had no arc of their own and added little to the story other than being a generic, blank wall for the character to throw herself at
  • The guinea pig lives. Too extreme for tv and would have lost sympathy for the main character. After all, she doesn't step in to save it. Her compassion occurs in its death but this would be pretty gruesome for a tv show. I know from discussions with agents, no killing of dogs. Maybe it applies to guinea pigs too.
  • The interviewer becomes the bank manager. This wonderfully ties up her salvation - a purpose to live - by keeping the cafe going as part of the final conflict with the antagonist. So she wants to keep the cafe open but needs to know that it's okay to make a mistake, however serious the consequences. By tieing both into one person/event, her meeting with the bank manager which begins and ends the story, it has far greater resonance. 

Those are the 3 I recognised, I'm sure there are others. For instance, her sister lending her money is something definitely worked with more in the tv show. Alongwith the extra complications associated with the job in Finland. 

The other topic related to this is the male-female end solutions to a story. As we know, the hero saves using traditional male and female traits. For instance, in I am Mother, [SPOILERS], the heroine wins through a physical act (threatening with a gun) and non-physical (talking to persuade). In Fleabag, all the action is verbal. I think what we see is the 'male' solution being the swearing and the 'female' being the admittance of vulnerability - what's she doing and why. It would be good to move away from the male/female axes for this elements. Perhaps, physical and non-physical or verbal and non-verbal are better alternatives.