Fleabag fans offered signed original show poster in fundraiser

Fleabag fans have the chance to get hold of the poster for the original show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe signed by creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, as part of a fundraising campaign to help artists who were due to perform there this year.

Venue Underbelly, whose famous upside-down inflated purple cow is a staple of the event, has launched the fundraiser to support the artists from this year’s planned programme of 220 scheduled shows who are in need of help.

Supporters are encouraged to donate £12, the cost of a ticket, to help them bridge the loss of ticket sales they hoped to receive this year, with organisers and artists in Edinburgh and elsewhere hit by lockdown restrictions.

Those willing to donate more can access a variety of rewards, including a backstage meet and greet with the artist of their choice, tickets and drinks (£100 or more).

For a £400 or more donation supporters can receive a Fleabag poster from the first show performed in Edinburgh at Underbelly in 2013, signed by Waller-Bridge, while a £1,000 donation gets free tickets to any Underbelly shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the next two years.

The original one-woman stage show of Fleabag, which was turned into a hit series on BBC Three, was later performed in New York and London and returned to the West End last year for a sell-out run at the Wyndham’s Theatre.

Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, directors of Underbelly, said: “Edinburgh is where it all started, in a dingy cave, 20 years ago.

“It’s our life blood, our home, a place where genuinely anything can happen and incredible memories have been made. To not be there this year is heart-breakingly devastating but it is also a time for reflection and understanding that for this year, we must step back and put the safety of others first.

“We would love to support and help everyone but what we feel we should do at this time is to support those artists that were due to perform at the Underbelly this year.

“We are asking you to help us support these artists to get through this most difficult of all times and more importantly keep them working in an industry that needs and values them. Without them there is no Underbelly, there is no Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to all of those who have been affected by Covid-19 and our most heartfelt thank-yous to those on the front line who have been working tirelessly to keep our country moving. We will be offering a special discount on all tickets to UK NHS staff at next year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe by way of thank you.”

Fans can donate here.