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Behind the Scenes in Soho

Introducing a collection of interviews with some of London’s best British talent, from artists to actors, and what they love about our one of wonderful neighbourhoods, Soho!

Phoebe Eclair-Powell

South east London playwright and screenwriter, Phoebe Eclair-Powell is making huge waves in the industry. Her play Shed: Exploded View won the prestigious Bruntwood Award in 2019 and is being staged at the Royal Exchange Manchester this February. In 2016, her play Fury was staged at our neighbouring hotspot of theatre, The Soho Theatre. In between her time in a writers rooms for projects that soon will be announced, we sat down with her to hear about her favourite parts of Soho.


  1. What was the inspiration to your play Shed: An Exploded View?

 The inspiration was a piece of art work  by the brilliant British artist, Cornelia Parker, called Cold Dark Matter: an Exploded View. I saw it at the Tate as a teenager and kept a postcard of it ever since. It’s an incredible sculpture made of the fragments from an exploded shed that has been reassembled in a sort of permanent explosion, both still and active.

  1. What do you hope audiences will take away from your play?

 I hope they take away a sense of wanting to hold their loved ones tight, and to call out the way in which violence has permeated our sense of love and the complexity of relationships. I want it to ignite further conversations about domestic abuse in this country.

  1. What is your favourite thing about writing for the stage?

 I love the collaboration and camaraderie. I get to be part of these little mini families every so often who come together to make something transient and hopefully powerful and entertaining. It’s both incredibly stressful and really joyful.

  1. The Resident Soho is on the doorstep of some of the best theatres in the capital. What are your favourite theatres in and around Soho?

 I was resident at the Soho Theatre many years ago and it’s on their writers course that I wrote my play and met a lot of excellent friends, who I still deeply care for and admire. I think that place is a real home to me and I always love going there, seeing shows, sitting in the bar and feeling part of something. I feel so grateful to have been part of it. The team who work there are always lovely and welcoming. I’m really keen to see more work at Soho Place which is still quite new. And I have fond memories of working on A Christmas Carol quite a few years ago at The Noel Coward Theatre as assistant to the amazing Patrick Barlow. Getting to weave in and out of stage door around Christmas time was a real treat.

  1. If you could choose a selection of desert island plays, what would they be and why?

 Ooh, tough one. I think I would love to have a collection of Caryl Churchill plays in there – she’s always someone I go to, to remind me that plays are complex, frightening things. debbie tucker green’s random because I love her work so, so much. Sarah Kane’s Blasted – perhaps that would make me feel okay about being stranded on a desert island? Then Nick Payne’s Constellations to give me some sense of love/hope and Kae Tempest’s Brand New Ancients!

  1. Imagine you are residing in Soho for inspiration for your next body of work, walk us through 24 hours in the shoes of a playwright.

I think a coffee is essential. I do like a Gail’s massive almond croissant for the sugar high. I would begin by walking around Foyles pretending to work, but just sniffing all the books and wanting to buy everything. If I was feeling naughty, I might even go and look at comics/research at Gosh! Soho because I’m a secret geek. Do some actual writing either at the Soho Theatre bar, or at the Curzon Soho. I would grab lunch from one of the food stalls in Berwick Street Market and then take myself for some thinking time in Soho Square (I love a good people watch), maybe a pick me up at Bar Italia before more writing or meandering around the National Portrait Gallery / National Gallery. I find art is really useful for getting the brain moving. I then would head for a beer or two at Soho Theatre bar. If I’m feeling fancy, I might meet a friend at Cote to get the cheap pre dinner menu, or stuff myself with sushi on Old Compton Street, before hopefully watching some shows at Soho Theatre. Post show, I might have a drink at a nice cocktail place I like, Swift. It’s all ‘research’ right?! 

  1. What projects have you got in the pipeline?

 My play Shed: Exploded View which won the Bruntwood Prize is on at the Royal Exchange Manchester, 9 Feb – 2 March 2024, which I’m really excited for. I’m currently working on two new plays. I’ve been lucky enough to have written two episodes of a new rom-com called The Road Trip which will be on Paramount Plus next year.



Discover The Resident Soho

Tucked away by Soho Square, The Resident Soho is in the heart of London’s West End. A stylish haven amidst the urban buzz of one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, our hotel is the place to stay for anyone wanting to experience London from the inside out.