Revealed: York Theatre Royal unveils its first post-Berwick pantomime

The creative team (L-R): Paul Hendy, Emily Wood, David Reed and Juliet Forster

York Theatre Royal has unveiled its first pantomime of a new era.

It will be Cinderella relocated to York – brought to the stage by a new creative team.

The show will be a co-production with Evolution, an award winning company which staged eight pantos around the country last Christmas.

There are no details of who might star in York’s Cinderella, but in the past Evolution has cast well-known names including Stephen Mulhern, Phil Gallagher, Emma Barton, Ade Edmondson, Matt Baker, Joe Swash and Vanilla Ice.


Following the ill-tempered departure of Berwick Kaler and his team after decades of shows at the Theatre Royal, they were snapped up by the Grand Opera House to star in Dick Turpin Rides Again.

It sets up panto wars in York, with the Theatre Royal promising a production “with the stage coming to sparkling life with magical transformations, glittering sets, stunning songs and side-splitting laughs”.

Phenomenal team

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

The theatre’s executive director Tom Bird said:

  • 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.

The Evolution story

An Evolution production of Cinderella at Canterbury. Photograph: Pamela Raith Photography
Evolution Productions was started by Emily Wood and Paul Hendy in 2005 and has built a reputation for bespoke, high quality pantomimes with strong casting.

They have twice won Pantomime of the Year at the Great British Pantomime Awards and are the team behind Sheffield Theatres’ successful pantomime in the Lyceum Theatre.

Producer and writer Paul Hendy said they were thrilled to be working with York Theatre Royal.

“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,” he said.

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.

Theatre Royal members can buy tickets from today (3 February). General booking opens on Thursday 13 February – 9am in person at box office, 10am online and phone booking.