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 saw 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 the U.S.A, Canada, Europe and Asia. He returned to live in New Zealand in 1989.
Paul created a series of highly successful dance shows that toured New Zealand and Australia.
His sparkling 1989 production of Le Papillon was one the most popular NZ works ever mounted by the Royal New Zealand Ballet. With Maclary Theatre Productions he produced The Hairy Maclary Show which toured widely in New Zealand and was featured in Adelaide’s Come Out Festival.
He designed sets and costumes and worked as a movement consultant for numerous productions. He was voted Costume Designer of the Year at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards multiple times.
Paul began working as a lyricist in 1988. With Gareth Farr he wrote several historical musicals, including Monarchy, Troy, Rome, The Nero Show and together they wrote C - The Musical. He was also the lyricist for Roger Hall’s pantomimes, including Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk and Red Riding Hood.
Paul passed away in October 2013. His pantomime, Puss in Boots, was produced posthumously by Circa Theatre in 2018.