Evcol Entertainment evolved from The Okai Collier Company in 2008. The reason for creating a separate unit was primarily due to the company expanding into new genres, which didn't quite fit under the 'Okai Collier' remit. The inaugural production was A Mother Speaks (2008), a one-woman show written and staring Judd Batchelor, directed by Susie McKenna, which explored a mother's reaction to her son being killed by gun crime.
2009 was an extremely busy year for Evcol. First there was Steve Hennessy's Moonshadow, directed by Chris Loveless, at The White Bear Theatre (co-production), which explored the subject of mental health, then Dominic Leyton's hard-hitting drama set in London's King's Cross; Collision at Hackney Empire, directed by Simon James Collier, Hedwig & the Angry Inch (Frankfurt), Love Horse (co-production, White Bear Theatre), Normal (co-production, Tobacco Factory, Bristol), and two associate-productions at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre: Oliver Twist, & Supernatural, the latter written by Aline Waites and directed by Mykal Rand.
2010 saw the company involved in four productions. Bloodline by Linda Wilkinson, a drama exploring the relationship between Bess of Hardwick and Mary Queen of Scots, and Blavatsky's Tower by Moira Buffini, a family drama set in an iconic tower block (Jack Studio Theatre), Gifted by Peter Billingham, which follows the explosive relationship between a teenage girl and an aged homeless man in their search for justice, love and belonging (White Bear Theatre), and Steve Hennessy's Stairway to Heaven, a story set around the building of the great pyramid's (Blue Elephant Theatre).
There were three very successful productions in 2013. Firstly The Last Ever Musical, by Richard Bates & Simon James Collier, a satirical look at the world of London 'fringe' musicals (White Bear Theatre), The White Witch of Rose Hall, an original play based on the story of Annie Palmer and voodoo in Jamaica (co-production at the Broadway Theatre, Catford, with Joseph Jeffers / ASKI), written by Collier and directed by Omar F. Okai and The Jungle Book (Lion & Unicorn Theatre), with a new version written by Adam Dechanel.
2014 was a year spent exclusively at London's Lion & Unicorn Theatre. Evcol produced it's Gothic Horror Trilogy; Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, The Corruption of Dorian Gray, and Jekyll & Hyde: Corpus Delicti - all adapted by Adam Dechanel, and directed & produced by Simon James Collier. The trilogy was a huge success and played to packed houses throughout. Another triumph was Shakespeare Sessions and two plays adapted & directed by Ross McGregor; Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter's Tale, again both big hits, which led to the formation of The Arrows and Traps Theatre Company.
In 2015 the company continued the horror theme with a re-working of Bram Stoker's Dracula (Lion & Unicorn Theatre), and a re-imagining of the French classic; Madame X (Jack Studio Theatre), directed by Omar F. Okai.
Also in 2015 Omar F. Okai also directed a new workshop presentation of Spooky Noises at The Umbrella Rooms, Shaftesbury Avenue, London. The piece had previously been work-shopped a couple years earlier, but additional material was added to this new re-working, and this was then used for the studio recording in 2018.
2017 saw Evcol bring three Edgar Allan Poe productions to the stage. At the Jack Studio Theatre there was a double bill of The Masque of the Red Death, directed by Omar F. Okai, and The Fall of the House of Usher, adapted by Adam Dechanel and directed by Maud Madlyn, and then later in the year The Raven ran at The London Horror Festival (Old Red Lion), and then at the Etcetera Theatre, before being recorded as Evcol's first audio drama.
Created with images by Barth Bailey - "untitled image" • TimHill - "whitby abbey goth gothic" • Mel Poole - "untitled image" Graphic Design: Adam Dechanel / Clockwork Digital Studios Photos: The Okai Collier Company Limited / Evcol Entertainment / Michael Brydon