Devoted fans of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s riotous tragicomedy Fleabag who devoured the two-season Emmy-winning Amazon Prime series much too quickly now have another piece of Fleabag content to binge—and it’s for a good cause.
Waller-Bridge’s one-woman Fleabag play, on which the show is based, will be available to stream on Amazon Prime for two weeks beginning Friday, April 10 in the U.S for about $5. Viewers in the U.K. and Ireland can already access the 48-hour download of the play via Soho Theatre’s On Demand streaming site for 4 euros.
Though the play was first performed by Waller-Bridge in 2013, the downloadable recording is from a summer performance directed by DryWrite Theatre Company’s Vicky Jones at Wyndham Theatre in London’s West End. It was first broadcast in U.K. cinemas by National Theatre Live in September 2019.
All proceeds, minus taxes and processing costs of the downloads, will be given to charities helping people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Those organization include the National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together, Acting for Others and the recently launched Fleabag Support Fund, which distributes grants to freelance actors in the U.K. who have been directly affected by COVID-19.
“All money raised will support the people throughout our society who are fighting for us on the frontlines and those financially devastated by the crisis, including those in the theatre community. Thank you in advance to those who donate. Now go get into bed with Fleabag! It’s for charity!” Waller-Bridge said in a statement.
The undertaking was created through a partnership with Waller-Bridge, DryWrite, Solo Theatre, Annapurna Theatre, National Theatre Live in London and Amazon Prime Video. Fundraising was kickstarted at 356,000 euros through donations from Waller-Bridge, TodayTix and an anonymous donor—all of these initial funds have already been distributed to the U.K. charities mentioned above.
Acting for Others, which provides financial assistance and emotional support to theater workers, will receive 15% of each donation raised. Per Samantha Bond, English actress and ambassador for Acting for Others, the virus has had a disastrous economic impact on the arts industry in the U.K.
“Tens of thousands of theater workers across the U.K. are facing the sudden loss of their job, and the very real prospect of having no work for several months. Around 290,000 people in the U.K. work in theatre, and 60% to 70% of them are freelancers. They have mortgages to pay and families to feed. This will offer a much-needed lifeline to those who are struggling to make ends meet,” Bond added in a statement.
The U.S. organizations that will received donations raised by downloading the production will be shared later this week.
The Fleabag Support Fund will continue to collect donations on GoFundMe and Instagram.
Other celebrities are doing their part to help raise awareness by filming PSAs and endorsements to support their favorite local restaurants for Postmates during the pandemic.