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Record year for UK’s top Boutique Panto Producers

Evolution ProductionsAs the curtain comes down on the 2015-16 pantomime season, Evolution Productions have announced record-breaking figures, showing that the pantomime renaissance has come of age. With The Marlowe Theatre leading the way with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs playing at 99.06% capacity with the number of tickets sold a stunning 95,685 (nearly double the city’s population), box office figures over their seven shows across the country came in at 91% attendance, an increase across the board of 10.3% in financial terms on the previous year.

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, starring Rita Simons (EastEnders) and Phil Gallagher (Mister Maker from CBeebies), was hailed as a huge success by the public and critics alike. The Stage newspaper gave it a rare five-star review, with Susan Elkin stating: “In 20 years of reviewing pantomimes, I have never seen a better one than this.”

The full breakdown of box-office sales for all Evolution Productions pantos in the 2015-16 season are:

Marlowe Theatre Canterbury – Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs starring Rita Simons (EastEnders) and Phil Gallagher (CBeebies)
99% / 95,600 attendees

The Arena St Albans – Peter Pan starring Jake Wood (EastEnders) and Katrina Bryan (CBeebies)
98% / 43,700 attendees

Theatre Severn Shrewsbury – Dick Whittington starring Brad Fitt
95% / 38,000 attendees

The Hawth Crawley – Aladdin starring Steve McFadden (EastEnders) and Rebecca Keatley (CBeebies)
90% / 29,200 attendees

The Octagon Yeovil – Sleeping Beauty starring Sam Rabone
90% / 27,000 attendees

Lyceum Theatre Sheffield – Aladdin starring Chris Gascoyne (Coronation Street)
85% / 46,500 attendees

Fairfield Halls Croydon – Jack and The Beanstalk 80% starring Stephen Mulhern (Catchphrase, Big Star Little Star)
80% / 30,700 attendees

Marlowe Theatre

Paul Hendy of Evolution Productions says, “We are absolutely delighted with these figures. At Evolution, we pride ourselves on the high production values of our work. We specialize in strong casting and genuinely funny shows, which are tailor-made for each theatre we produce at. We are passionate about giving audiences a spectacular Christmas pantomime with West-end standards and the very best pantomime performers in the country. Every year we work to improve further on the previous year and these figures are a stunning endorsement of all the work that goes into that.

Formed in 2005 by Emily and Paul Hendy, Evolution is built on an ethos of producing bespoke, top quality theatre shows. Regularly featuring in lists of the top pantomimes in the country, their shows are acknowledged for high quality production values, strong casting and genuinely funny scripts. Evolution is, at its heart, a family run business and it is this that maintains a close home-crafted relationship with all of its work, providing it with an intimacy and friendliness that is often lacking in its competitors. Over the past decade Paul and Emily have produced shows in some of the best theatres in the country and they pride themselves on casting some of the nation’s most talented performers including: Ade Edmondson, Nigel Havers, Stephen Mulhern, Gareth Gates, Jake Wood, Rita Simons, Larry Lamb, Steve McFadden, Samantha Womack, Shaun Williamson, Toyah Willcox, Phil Daniels, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, George Takei and Vanilla Ice.


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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