The first time I saw
Now, Waller-Bridge is back in Soho: fully clothed this time but with a performance that promises to be equally fearless. In The One - the first play by her friend and collaborator
"It feels quite dangerous," Waller-Bridge tells me during a break from rehearsals. "There's violence, and ambiguity around sexual violence, around this cosmopolitan, intellectual couple who we otherwise would relate to. They're drawn, I think, from the idea of people being overstimulated in this life that we all lead."
The theme of overstimulation was also key to Waller-Bridge's first major outing as both writer and performer: Fleabag, a turbo-charged monologue about a porn-obsessed young woman. The show scored some excellent reviews at last year's
The characters Waller-Bridge plays are often difficult, even unlikable. It is in a determination to embody women in all their human complexity that she considers herself a feminist. "Feminism was intrinsic," she says, "in what [Jones and I] were trying to do from the start. Between us, [feminism] would never come up. Then people starting coming up to us and saying 'You are feminists'. I was like, 'Isn't everybody?'"
Waller-Bridge is 28; she grew up in Ealing, west
Now Waller-Bridge is planning to continue as both writer and actor: she's adapting Fleabag for TV, and is also working on a film script, a new play, and a musical. At the heart of all of it, she says, is a fascination with "the tiptoeing line between laughing and crying. That, for me, is the key to drama. If you make people laugh, they make themselves so vulnerable to you." She smiles impishly. "And then you can stab them."
The One is at the Soho theatre,
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