Writer, Director, Choreographer, Set and Costume Designer
Paul Jenden wrote and directed his first play at 8 years old: a classroom adaptation of Charlotte's Web. In 1975 he graduated from Victoria University with a degree in French Language and Literature and began a theatrical career that has seen him established as a director, designer, dancer, choreographer and writer.
In 1980 he left New Zealand to base himself in New York City and toured in the U.S.A. and Canada as well as Europe and Asia. He returned to live in New Zealand in 1989.
Paul has many successes to his name. His first production at Circa Theatre was Fairy Stories in 1996, which began a series of highly successful Christmas shows. His Dancing the Gay Fandango at Taki Rua in 1991 became a top selling show at the 1994 Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne's Midsumma Festival. His sparkling 1989 production of Le Papillon was one the most popular NZ works ever mounted by the Royal New Zealand Ballet and with Maclary Theatre Productions he produced The Hairy Maclary Show which has toured widely in New Zealand and was featured in Adelaide's Come Out Festival and at the Victorian Centre for the Arts.
He has designed sets and costumes for Dirty Weekends, Boys at the Beach and Travesties as well as Circa's annual pantomimes and his own musicals. He has also worked as a movement consultant on Stones in his Pockets, The Cherry Orchard, The Underpants, The Winslow Boy and American Pilot. He has twice been voted Costume Designer of the Year at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.
Paul began working as a lyricist in 1988. With Gareth Farr he has written a trilogy of historical musicals - Troy, Monarchy and Rome and the sci-fi SPACE! He is also the lyricist for Roger Hall's pantomimes, including Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk and Red Riding Hood.
The Nero Show
It is 1963, and a live TV show is about to be broadcast from Nero's mansion, hosted by Seneca, the well-known philosopher and TV personality. Rome's most infamous Emperor has been dropped squarely into the life and times of the glamorous 1960s and the story of his rise and fall begins to look all too familiar.
Paul Jenden and Gareth Farr combine Roman excess with '60s cool in their totally modern take on this ageless story of preening politicians, upstaging wives, inconvenient mistresses and explosive enemies.
Rome - The Musical
A feast of power, politics and intrigue, ROME The Musical condenses the life and death of Julius Caesar into one evening.The creators of Troy and Monarchy complete their trilogy of historical musicals with a wildly inaccurate romp through the Roman Empire as the events of decades are condensed into the space of just one evening, when Julius Caesar hosts a dinner party where the guests include Brutus, Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
Rome The Musical - sparkles with Gareth Farr's shamelessly hedonistic music and Paul Jenden's wickedly licentious lyrics.
Monarchy - The Musical
"A wickedly funny portrayal of the English Throne in song," wrote Laurie Atkinson in the Dominion Post, "Monarchy unpicks the rich tapestry of royal history, laying bare the lives of all the great monarchs, and their famous - and infamous - consorts, lovers and rivals. From 802AD to the present day they are all there - the Kings & Queens: Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, all the Henries, Edwards, Georges and both Elizabeths, and all of the famous females like Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mary Queen of Scots, Nell Gwyn and the infamous Mrs Simpson...
Troy - The Musical
When Helen, Queen of Sparta, deserts her husband and elopes with a Trojan prince, she begins one of the most famous wars in history.Troy The Musical is a smart and saucy romp through the events and characters of the Trojan War. Troy has it all - toe tapping rhythms, catchy lyrics, soaring sensual love songs, waltzes, charlestons and tangos. This hilarious musical is full of romance and comedy, cheap betrayal and bloody revenge.