Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Imagination Awards Open For Entries


  • Sir Ken Robinson announced as Patron
  • Sam Mendes joins judging panel

Renowned educationalist Sir Ken Robinson will be the Patron of The Imagination Awards, a competition launched by the award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to champion creativity and inspire the next generation of theatre makers. The awards open for entries today, and close on Monday 6th June.

The judging panel for the awards will also include:

  • Members of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory creative team including: Sam Mendes, Director; Caro Newling, Producer; Mark Thompson, Set and Costume Designer
  • Jess Moore, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Warner Bros.
  • Roma Agrawal, Structural Engineer, WSP Group
  • James Anderson, 18 year old entrepreneur and founder of Thinkspace
  • Mark Champkins, Inventor in Residence, Science Museum
  • Emily Mulhall, Animator

The deadline for entries is Monday 6th June 2016, with a shortlist announced on Monday 20th June, and winners announced on Friday 8th July.

The Imagination Awards are divided into two separate awards:

  • Charlie’s Challenge: a national award for 5-15 year olds (in three age categories, 5-7, 8-11, 12-15), looking for creative inventions and ideas which would benefit a family member. It can be an invention or idea that would help one person, or something that will help the whole family. Judges: Roma Agrawal, James Anderson, Mark Champkins, Emily Mulhall. Prize: The winner will receive an Imagination Pack full of prizes to encourage invention and creativity, plus a VIP trip to London to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The school that submits most entries will receive an Imagination Workshop at their school and a talk from one of the judges.
  • The Young Theatre Design Award is open to 16-18 year olds across the UK and is split into two separate categories: Set Design and Costume Design. Young designers are asked to submit an original set or costume design for Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJudges: Sam Mendes, Jess Moore, Caro Newling, Mark Thompson. Prize: The winner from each category will be invited to London to meet with the creative team and watch a matinee performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, before experiencing the production from backstage during the evening performance.

Sam Mendes, director of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, explained: “When we were creating Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of the key things we always wanted to get across was the importance of the imagination. At the start of the show, Charlie Bucket’s world is grey and cold, but he uses his imagination to transform the world into something wonderful. And Willy Wonka and his factory are the embodiment of the power of imagination. Creating something out of nothing is miraculous – that’s what Roald Dahl did, it’s what Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka do, and it’s what we’re celebrating with this prize.”

Charlie’s Challenge has been designed to be inclusive for all young people. The award encourages creativity in the classroom, and champions invention and imagination as valuable skills for any future career. The production will create resources throughout the awards process which will help unlock the doors to the world of theatre, and showcase the opportunities in the arts that exist for young people interested in the process of theatre making and design.

The Young Theatre Design Award will look for those who have already experimented with set and costume design, and also seek out aspiring artists and those with relevant skills who have not yet considered a career in the theatre industry.

Full details of The Imagination Awards and how to enter can be found at

Since opening in 2013, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has offered teachers numerous ways to explore the show through an educational ‘Page-to-Stage’ resource that includes activities and exercises for students to bring the musical to life in the classroom. January 2016 has seen the launch of the new official Charlie and the Chocolate Factory school workshops in the areas of drama, singing, dance, musical theatre and storytelling.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has also provided ten one-week paid backstage work experience placements and two eight-week paid internships through the Golden Tickets scheme, part of Warner Bros. Creative Talent, a programme of investment in skills and training for the UK creative industries.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory presented its first ‘relaxed performance’ on 19 January 2016. Presented in association with Mousetrap Theatre Projects, the relaxed performance was aimed at families with one or more children with special needs. It was designed to provide an opportunity for people with autism, learning difficulties or other sensory and communication needs, who require a more relaxed environment, to enjoy the show.

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has quickly become one of the West End’s most popular and successful stage musicals, and recently celebrated its 1000th performance as well as winning a London Lifestyle Award for Theatre Show of the Year, as voted for by readers of the London Evening Standard. It also won two Olivier awards in April 2014, and has broken records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it has been seen by over 1.7 million people since it opened in June 2013. It is currently taking bookings until December 2016.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is directed by Sam Mendes. Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig, set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.

The Official Cast Recording album is available on Sony Records, on CD and download.

This world premiere musical is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Langley Park Productions.

Box Office: 0844 858 8877

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5JF

Booking until December 2016