A recorded performance of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s live stage show of Fleabag will be made available to stream to raise funds for charities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The recording, which was first broadcast to cinemas as part of NT Live, will be available to stream in the UK and Ireland from today on Soho Theatre’s On Demand streaming site.
From April 10 it will also be available on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and US.
The production will be available for a 48-hour download for £4 and all proceeds will be distributed to charities involved in the coronavirus crisis, including the National Emergencies Trust (NET), NHS Charities Together and Acting For Others, as well as the newly launched Fleabag Support Fund, which will distribute grants of £2,500 to freelancers working in the UK theatre industry affected by the pandemic.
Some £356,000 has already been donated, including a “substantial” donation from Waller-Bridge, as well as contributions from TodayTix and an anonymous donor.
The funds have been distributed to the NET, NHS Charities Together and the Fleabag Support Fund, which will continue to also raise funds via GoFundMe and via Instagram.
Last year Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show, based on her hit series, proved a hit in the West End and off-Broadway.
She said: “I hope this filmed performance of Fleabag can help raise money while providing a little theatrical entertainment in these isolated times.
“Thank you to all our partners and to the creative team who have waived their royalties from this production to raise money for such vital causes in this unbelievably challenging situation.
“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!!”
The NET will receive 35% of each donation, funding local charities across the UK, including social isolation charities, food banks and others supporting individuals impacted by coronavirus.
Additionally, 35% of each donation will be sent to NHS Charities Together, which supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients.
Acting For Others, an organisation that provides financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need, will receive 15% of each donation.
As theatres across the UK have gone dark, cinemas, galleries, museums and concert venues have closed their doors, TV shows and films have paused production, workers in the arts sector are particularly at risk of losing their earnings.
Charity ambassador Samantha Bond said: “Coronavirus is having a disastrous economic impact on the arts industry, and on the often precarious incomes of those working within it.
“Tens of thousands of theatre workers across the UK 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 UK work in theatre, and 60-70% 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.”
The remaining 15% of each donation will go to the Fleabag Support Fund to give grants to freelancers in the theatre industry who are in urgent financial need.