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We’re having a ball and everyone’s invited

York Theatre Royal and Evolution Productions present

York’s new spectacular family pantomime


Fri 4 Dec 2020 to Sun 10 Jan 2021

Written by Paul Hendy with additional material by David Reed
Directed by Juliet Forster

Our 2020/21 pantomime will be Cinderella, the most magical pantomime of all!

This timeless rags-to-riches story will be relocated to the city of York, with the stage coming to sparkling life with magical transformations, glittering sets, stunning songs and side-splitting laughs.

Co-producing with Evolution Productions, one of the country’s most successful and award-winning pantomime producers, we’re creating a brand new pantomime for everyone – with the promise of a truly epic spectacle and heaps of hilarity.

Cinderella will be directed by York Theatre Royal’s Associate Director Juliet Forster and written by Paul Hendy with additional material by David Reed.

Our Executive Director Tom Bird says: “We are over the moon to be creating a spectacular new pantomime for the people of York – one that’s tailor-made for the whole family, while honouring the pantomime traditions that our audiences love so much.

“Our recipe includes two of the most exciting voices in our city, David Reed and Juliet Forster, together with Emily Wood and Paul Hendy, the finest makers of pantomime in the country – a fairytale combination.

“This phenomenal team will give the York Theatre Royal pantomime a new lease of life with a fresh, family-friendly, fun-filled approach to the story of Cinderella. It’s a pantomime for the new decade, set with pride in our amazing city.”

Evolution Productions was started by Emily Wood and Paul Hendy in 2005 and has built a reputation for superior, bespoke pantomimes with the emphasis on high quality production values, strong casting and genuinely funny scripts. They have twice won Pantomime of the Year at the Great British Pantomime Awards. They are the team behind Sheffield Theatres’ extraordinarily successful pantomime in the Lyceum Theatre.

Producer and co-writer Paul Hendy says: “Emily and I are absolutely thrilled to be working with York Theatre Royal on this year’s pantomime. We are huge fans of the theatre and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Tom and his brilliant team to produce a wonderful, family friendly pantomime with spectacular production values, a superbly talented cast, and a genuinely funny script.”

Further creatives and cast for Cinderella will be announced in coming months.

Ticket prices remain the same as for 2019-2020. Family tickets and Sunday shows are being introduced as well as schools and groups discounts so that everyone can go to the ball.


– Members 10 day priority booking opens on Mon 3 February
– Members 5 day priority booking opens on Sat 8 February, 9am in person at box office, 10am online and phone booking
– General booking opens on Thu 13 February, 9am in person at box office, 10am online and phone booking.

Fri 04 Dec 2020 - Sun 10 Jan 2021



David Reed, who lives in his home city of York, began his career with multi-award winning comedy trio The Penny Dreadfuls. He’s worked extensively in radio and is also a gag writer for the comedian Miles Jupp, who he recently appeared alongside on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown as Ian, Mr Jupp’s Personal Beef Waiter. As a “serious” actor he’s had recurring roles in Endeavour, Gary: Tank Commander & Damned, been murdered with a champagne flute on Father Brown and played comedy legend Peter Cook on Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me. A talented improviser, he performed on BBC Two’s Fast & Loose, Olivier Award winning Showstopper: The Improvised Musical, does a monthly spoof chat-show called Inside the Comedian and is a regular guest of The Comedy Store Players with Paul Merton.

Juliet Forster (director) is Associate Director at York Theatre Royal where she most recently directed A View from the Bridge. Recent directing credits also include Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, Blenheim); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York) and Sense and Sensibility (Theatre By The Lake). Directing credits for York Theatre Royal include Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes, The Machine Stops, The Crucible, Twelfth Night, Betrayal, See How They Run, In Fog and Falling Snow, Two Planks and a Passion,  A Number, Angels & Insects, Blue/Orange, Morgana le Fey, Escaping Alice, Oleanna, Rupert Brooke, Beyond Measure, The Journey, The Elves and the Shoemakers, The Book of Dragons, Whatever Next and Rabbit and Hedgehog, as well as The Trumpeter’s Tale , The Photographer’s Portrait, The Shopkeepers Story and Tales From Camelot for touring into schools,  and Objects of Terror, Henry IV and Tales from Kafka with Out of Character Theatre Company.

Paul Hendy (Evolution producer and co-writer) is a scriptwriter, director and producer. On television, Paul hosted shows such as The Disney Club, Don’t Try This At Home and Wheel of Fortune. He also hosted the BAFTA nominated Dear Mr Barker and the cult classic Stash the Cash. His novels Diary of a C-List Celeb and Who Killed Simon Peters? were published by Transworld in 2004 and 2009. They received great critical acclaim and were subsequently translated into Russian and Greek. Paul directed and produced the UK tour of Mister Maker & The Shapes Live!, he also directed and produced a UK tour of Morecambe. In his 35 years of working in pantomime, he has written and produced over 90 pantomimes and is extremely proud of Evolution’s reputation for high quality productions in some of the best theatres in the country.

Emily Wood  (Evolution producer) read French and Italian literature at Oxford University and subsequently worked as a Production Manager making high-end cinema commercials. However, live theatre was always Emily’s passion and producing pantomimes was perhaps a predestined fate for Emily; her Great-grandfather toured Variety and Pierrot shows all over the country during the early 1900s, and her parents are a theatrical producer and designer. Since starting Evolution Productions in 2005 with her husband Paul Hendy, Emily has produced over 90 pantomimes across the country. She juggles the huge demands of the business with having a young family. Her three children, Freddie, Poppy and Jago are proud owners of the Guinness World Record for the most pantomimes watched in one year!

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