Playwright gets a taste of luxury at The Langham

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The Langham London announced the winner of its writer-in-residence competition this month, which was launched to celebrate the luxury hotel’s 150 year history.

Playwright Ben Ellis beat off stiff competition from 200 other writers for the chance to research and write a play which will be premiered at the five-star establishment in March.

Applicants were asked to tap into the heritage of the eight-floor hotel, and Ellis’s winning pitch incorporated the French Emperor Louis Napoleon III, who took up residence while in exile.

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The competition was organised by The Langham with the Defibrillator company after the success of Tennessee Williams plays presented there earlier this year.

Ellis, who has worked at London venues including the Bush and Theatre 503 for the last decade, will now spend time in the hotel for the commission.

Speaking to the London Standard, he said: “I’m allowed to prop up the bar for a bit. That was a bit of a draw. But I love the idea of being able to write something for a specific space. I’m really interested in the history of empire.

“I thought it was interesting that Napoleon III stayed at the Langham.”

The finished work will be performed from March 3 to April 4 2015.

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