[Please note: this article contains spoilers about the third episode of Fleabag Season Two, which is currently viewable on BBC iPlayer]
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is having the time of her life on season two of Fleabag, casting, writing for – and acting opposite – some truly brilliant actors.
We’ve seen Olivia Colman as her step-mum, Andrew Scott as her priest, Fiona Shaw as her therapist, and now Kristin Scott Thomas as her ... well, if you haven’t seen episode three of the new series, that would be telling.
Suffice to say, as monologues go, the speech that business-woman Belinda delivers over martinis to a meek and sweaty Fleabag is a total smasher.
Not only is she wearing the most A+ pussy-bow blouse, slacks and checks ensemble (who but the iconic KST could make cornflower blue look this good?), but she nails five of life’s eternal truths about being a woman.
‘Women Are Born With Pain Built In’
From cramps to childbirth via such minor irritations as sore boobs, pain is our “physical destiny”, says Belinda. “We carry it within ourselves. Men don’t.”
‘Don’t Worry, It Does Get Better’
Fleabag’s feeling glum about life at 33 but Belinda has good news for her.
Firstly, she’s not Jesus (i.e. dead) and secondly, she still has the menopause to look forward to. No, really. As Belinda has it, life gets hot and horrific for a bit, but then, for the first time as a woman, you’re free. Horrendous to tremendous.
‘It’s Not A Party Until Someone Flirts With You’
A controversial statement in an era of #metoo, but Belinda nails that nervous energy and sense of pregnant (ahem) potential when you walk into any gathering. “There’s nothing more exciting than a room full of people,” she schools our collective social anxiety.
‘People Are All We’ve Got’
The antithesis of Fleabag’s existential funk / allergy to anyone who cares about her, Belinda’s humanistic position is an authentic and uplifting message to cling to in this living hellhole of a news cycle.
‘I Can’t Be Arsed, Darling’
Sure, no one can say it better than Kristin Scott Thomas. But this much classier alternative to ‘No’ is really the only possible answer to someone asking you to do anything you don’t want to do.