Shed: Exploded View at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Shed: Exploded View at the Royal Exchange
Image courtesy of Johan Persson.

Shed: Exploded View at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre 9 February — 2 March 2024 Tickets from £10.00 — Book now

Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s 2019 Bruntwood Prize-winning play, Shed: Exploded View sets the bar for the Royal Exchange Theatre’s awesome Spring/ Summer 2024 Season.

Performed by an ensemble of six incredible actors, on the Royal Exchange Theatre’s atmospheric in-the-round stage, Shed: Exploded View is an ambitious new drama that explores domestic violence, gender and family. Inspired by Cornelia Parker’s art installation Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, which captures the appearance of a domestic shed moments after being blown up, Eclair-Powell’s new play is beautifully emotional, devastating and experimental in structure.

Shed: Exploded View at the Royal Exchange Theatre
Image courtesy of Johan Persson.

Eclair-Powell’s new play is beautifully emotional, devastating and experimental in structure.

This searing production introduces the audience to the lives of three couples over three decades. Mothers and daughters. Lovers, partners, husbands and wives. Babies, teenagers, birthdays, holidays, honeymoons, fireworks, near-misses, rain. Delicately woven and astonishingly moving, Shed: Exploded View opens a conversation around violence and relationships, female trauma and the language we use. The play asks questions about what we choose to see and ignore; the cyclical nature of violence, power and responsibility, and also, most importantly, how we can tear the tapestry of time to refashion a more hopeful future for the next generation.

Spanning 30 years in the lives of three couples, Shed: Exploded View consists of many short scenes, each with their own title. The play emulates the structure of Parker’s 1991 artwork in the way that the scenes can be moved around and reordered to fit an individual production. The script is blown apart and rebuilt to keep the audience guessing about the characters and how their stories fit together. This means that each scene is unique – a beautiful, though starkly violent, fabric of ideas and emotion.

Writer Phoebe Eclair-Powell told us, “I feel really lucky to get to dust it off and put it on with this brilliant team and to hopefully bring something startling to the stage. And with the world on an ever more violent trajectory, it feels like it still has something important to say.

This world premiere performance reunites writer Phoebe Eclair-Powell with director Atri Banerjee; the same team that worked together on the Bush Theatre’s production, Harm, which was later shown on BBC 4 and streamed on BBC iPlayer. We’re also thrilled that designer Naomi Dawson returns to the Royal Exchange (we loved her set design for Light Falls) and that the award-winning Manchester-based composer Carmel Smickersgill steps up to create the soundtrack. With a hugely talented ensemble of six performers, Jason Hughes and Lizzy Watts take on the roles of Frank and Naomi, with Norah Lopez Holden playing their daughter, Abi. Wil Johnson and Hayley Carmichael step up to play Tony and Lil, and Michael Workéyè completes the cast as Mark.

Each scene is unique – a beautiful, though starkly violent, fabric of ideas and emotion.

Of this thrilling world premiere performance at the Royal Exchange Theatre, writer Phoebe Eclair-Powell told us, “I feel really lucky to get to dust it off and put it on with this brilliant team and to hopefully bring something startling to the stage. And with the world on an ever more violent trajectory, it feels like it still has something important to say. I am truly grateful to get the chance to say it.”

A powerful and deeply moving new play. Don’t miss out.

Shed: Exploded View at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre 9 February — 2 March 2024 Tickets from £10.00 Book now

What's on at Royal Exchange Theatre

Where to go near Shed: Exploded View at the Royal Exchange Theatre

St Ann’s Square
City Centre
Park
St Ann’s Square

St Ann’s Square is a quiet little enclave of shops, with Barton’s Arcade set back from it on one side, and St Ann’s Church, which dates back to 1712 and…

Rapha Clubhouse Manchester
City Centre
Shop
Rapha Clubhouse Manchester

AKA cyclist heaven, Rapha is more than just a cycle-wear shop. It’s a place for anyone who loves cycling to congregate and celebrate the sport together.

City Centre
Bar or Pub
The Botanist

The Botanist on Deansgate, Manchester, does botanical cocktails and toothsome food with aplomb.

City Centre
King Street Manchester

King Street is one of the most picturesque parts of Manchester with buildings designed by Alfred Waterhouse and C.R. Cockerell. Once Manchester’s financial epicenter, it’s now home to high-end retail and fine dining.

Manchester
Restaurant
KAI Deansgate

Kai is a Turkish restaurant on Deansgate, set up by the brains behind the well-regarded Zouk restaurant. Expect excellent mezze plates and an open grill that releases wonderful aromas throughout the venue.

City Centre
Restaurant
Lunya Manchester

Lunya is a Spanish and Catalan deli and restaurant in Manchester’s stunning Barton Arcade. The food is reliably fresh and the staff both charming and incredibly knowledgable.

What's on: Theatre

Culture Guides