Emily Wood and Paul Hendy started Evolution Productions in 2005 and have built a reputation for superior, bespoke pantomimes with the emphasis on high quality production values, strong casting and genuinely funny scripts.
They are extremely proud that in a Daily Mail report on the ‘Top Ten Pantomimes in the Country’, three of the shows were produced by Evolution. They were also delighted to win Pantomime of the Year 2016/17 at the Great British Pantomime Awards (for Dick Whittington at The Marlowe Theatre).
Over the last twelve years they have produced in some of the best theatres in the country. This Christmas, they are producing pantomimes at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, the Hawth Theatre in Crawley, the Grove Theatre in Dunstable, the Lichfield Garrick, the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield, Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, the Alban Arena in St Albans and The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil. They also hire sets to six other pantomimes across the UK.
Emily and Paul pride themselves on casting some of the country’s most talented performers, among them Stephen Mulhern, Phil Gallagher, Emma Barton, Jake Wood, Rita Simons, Scott Maslen, Sam Womack, Ade Edmondson, Nigel Havers, Gareth Gates, Steve McFadden, Larry Lamb, Shane Lynch (Boyzone), Shaun Williamson, Matt Baker, George Takei (Star Trek), Toyah Willcox, John Partridge (EastEnders), Sheila Ferguson (Three Degrees), Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia), Joe Swash (I’m A Celebrity…), Ian ‘H’ Watkins (Steps); Sid Sloane, Andy Day, Cat Sandion, Rebecca Keatley (all CBeebies) and Vanilla Ice (… yes, Vanilla Ice!!).
Winner of 'Pantomime of the Year 2016/17' at the Great British Pantomime Awards!"
Emily - Producer
Emily read French and Italian literature at Oxford University and subsequently worked as a Production Manager for a company who made high-end cinema commercials. During this period she worked with esteemed British film director, Jonathan Glazer, on projects for Stella Artois, Levis and the famous Guinness ads, as well as his film Birth starring Nicole Kidman.
However, live theatre was always Emily’s passion and producing pantomimes was perhaps a pre-destined fate for Kent-based 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.
Evolution is very much a family business as Emily works alongside her mother as well as her husband. She also juggles the huge demands of the business with having a young family. Her three beautiful children, Freddie, Poppy and Jago are proud owners of the Guinness World Record for the most pantomimes watched in one year. Emily hopes this isn’t child cruelty!
Paul - Producer/Writer/Director
Paul Hendy is a scriptwriter, director and producer.
On television, Paul hosted shows such as The Disney Club, Don’t Try This At Home with Davina McCall and Wheel of Fortune (which had been running for twenty-three years until Paul hosted one series and they cancelled it!) He also hosted the BAFTA nominated Dear Mr Barker and the cult classic Stash the Cash (‘cult’ meaning it was rubbish but students liked it!).
His novels Diary Of A C-List Celeb (in no way autobiographical… honest!) 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. The novels can currently be found in the bargain bins of most reputable bookshops.
Paul directed and produced the UK Tour of Mister Maker & The Shapes Live!, he also directed and produced a UK Tour of Morecambe, (a one-man play about the life of his hero, Eric Morecambe). Paul has recently optioned the film rights for Morecambe… watch this space!
No stranger to pantomimes (having appeared in his first 32 years ago!), he is extremely proud of Evolution's reputation for high quality productions and is thrilled to have achieved his ambition of producing, writing and directing at some of the best theatres in the country.