No, no, we can’t believe it, either. And yes, we’re every bit as excited as you are. It’s only the actual bloomin' Phoebe Waller-Bridge right here in our very building. Cue a month spent breaking from conversation to give knowing side looks to hypothetical cameras, and general wondering of just how we can get our hands on tickets.
But enough fan-girling, well for now at least. A brief pause for the important bits. So yes, multi-award-winning actor, writer, showrunner and creator of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is appearing here at our Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 8 December. The appearance is a one-off special event to celebrate the 12 November publication of Fleabag: The Scriptures, and will see Waller-Bridge joined in conversation by comedian, writer and podcaster of Guilty Feminist fame, Deborah Francis-White.
So not only is that why we’re all excited, it’s also a perfect cue to revel in Waller-Bridge’s general amazingness. Whether you’re new to her (and if you are, get yourself off to your room with a Fleabag boxset as soon as you’ve finished reading this), or hang on her every turn to gaze down the lens, here’s six reasons – beyond her being a phenomenal actor and writer – why we love Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
She’s friends with the people we want to be friends with
People like the Oscar-winning actor and all round ‘national treasure’ Olivia Coleman, who plays the role of Godmother in Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag (more on that later). Though enemies in character, it’s clear the pair are best of friends off the screen, as shown earlier this month when Waller-Bridge and her sister, the composer Isobel, pitched up to play ukulele on Coleman’s charity cover of the Portishead song, 'Glory Box'.
She tells a good story
One of the undoubted plus points of Waller-Bridge’s success for fans, is that it has led to her making several appearances on talk shows on both sides of the Atlantic. And wherever she appears, she does not disappoint, with an anecdote for every occasion… and some that perhaps aren’t suitable for any occasion, but what the hell? Gather round everyone.
She’s as awkward as any of us would be around Hollywood stars
How would you be if you suddenly found yourself working alongside solid gold A-listers, or even just in a room with them? Probably a nervous wreck, desperate for them to love you? Right? Well, turns out Waller-Bridge is all of us.
She’s cracking America with her own distinct style
Not content with dominating the glowing box in the corner of British living rooms, with two incredibly successful series of both Fleabag and Killing Eve, Waller-Bridge is also winning over hearts and minds in the United States. The guest monologue on Saturday Night Live is a daunting challenge to the biggest and best of stars. Not so for Waller-Bridge, who delivered hers with typical ease and humour.
She's not afraid to give honest answers and good advice
As her talk show appearances have shown, Waller-Bridge isn’t one to shy away from honest answers, something that can be enjoyed again in this short video interview for British GQ, in which she also offers some great advice that she has most certainly followed herself.
She gave us Fleabag
Packed with humour, emotion, it’s no wonder Fleabag has been described by Hannah Parkinson of The Guardian as ‘the most electrifying, devastating TV in years’. But the key to its success among fans is arguably it’s very relatable awkwardness. As Waller-Bridge herself says “There’s a little bit of Fleabag in everyone, and everyone can relate to Fleabag”.
Of course we can’t really leave it there without sharing a couple of classic moments from the two series. There’s a lot we’d love to show, but can’t quite do so within the confines of a widely accessible blog such as this, but his two seasons that are just about safe for work, albeit with language discretion advisable. Starting with Fleabag’s somewhat unique take on what constitutes a fun surprise…
Oh go on then, one more. And an enjoyable reminder that hair is everything… especially if you’re left looking like stationery.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge appears at Southbank Centre in conversation with Deborah Francis-White on Sunday 8 December. Tickets went on sale on 7 & 8 November and have now sold out.
The venue for London Literature Festival and Poetry International, Southbank Centre is the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK. Throughout the year we host talks, discussions, readings and more featuring bestselling authors, award-winning poets and inspirational writers.