The bittersweet heartbreak of comedy character Fleabag's unrequited love for "Hot Priest" has been immortalised in a series of limited-edition bottles of Edinburgh Gin.
The collaboration between the brand and creator of the show Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, features dialogue from the series' final scenes, in which she confesses “I love you” to actor Andrew Scott, who sadly replies: “It’ll pass.”
The connection goes beyond gin being Fleabag’s favourite tipple, with Edinburgh being the city where Waller-Bridge debuted the titular character at the 2013 Fringe festival. Rave reviews of Fleabag led to sell-out shows, then global recognition.
Waller-Bridge said: “Gin and theatre are my two great loves. We wanted this bottle to capture a glimpse of Edinburgh in all her mystery and wonder, through the eyes of Fleabag who found her first home there.
“I hope every purchase inspires outrageous and creative conversations over ice while bringing the beloved Fringe festival back to life. It’s important to add that Andrew Scott's hand wrote a message on the bottle… if that isn’t incentive enough to hunt one down and hold it against your cheek, I don’t know what is.”
With the arts badly affected by coronavirus, and festivals unable to take place as they normally would, performers continue to lose more than a rite of passage, they miss out on opportunity. Thus, all profits from the collaboration will be contributed to an arts recovery fund, with subsidies allotted to help the next generation of talent to return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2022, its 75th anniversary. It is hoped that more than £150,000 will be raised.
Created by John Doe, Bright Signals, D8 and with help from The Fringe, only a few thousand screen-printed bottles, which were designed by Waller-Bridge, will be available to buy, the first of which will go on sale on 20 July to those who sign up in advance on Edinburgh Gin's website. The bottles, priced at £48, are expected to go on general sale from early August before being delivered in August, during the Fringe.
Applications for the subsidies will open next year.