• Video of Producer Caro Newling announcing the awards here

The award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, will launch The Imagination Awards in 2016.

The Imagination Awards are two separate awards which will each champion creativity and inspire the next generation of theatre makers:

  • Charlie’s Challenge: a national award for 5-15 year olds, challenging students to share imaginative solutions to problems facing them, their school or the wider world.  
  • Young Theatre Designer Award: a national competition for 16-18 year olds, seeking out and championing young people across the UK who have a talent for costume or set design.

Caro Newling, Producer, explained: “The Imagination Awards are our way of reaching out to young people across the nation who are creative, and interested in the arts and the business of theatre making. We hope the awards can encourage the creative thinkers of tomorrow.”

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 be releasing 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 Designer 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.

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 will see the launch of 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 will present its first ‘relaxed performance’ on 19 January 2016. Presented in association with Mousetrap Theatre Projects, the relaxed performance is aimed at families with one or more children with special needs. It is 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.

Further details of the Imagination Awards will be announced in the New Year. Anyone interested in finding out more should sign up to receive the Awards newsletter, at

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


The Tree of Extinction



        The Tree of Extinction shows seriously endangered species including the Honey Bee, Indian Elephant and the Great White Shark

        The Tree has been created to mark the premiere of Racing Extinction, the gripping new film from Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove), which exposes the hidden world of endangered species

        The film’s findings suggest man’s impact on the planet is driving the sixth mass extinction

         Racing Extinction to air Wednesday 2nd December at 9pm on Discovery UK

image001 (14)Ahead of the release of Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos’ ground breaking film Racing Extinction, premiering on Discovery Channel UK on Wednesday 2nd December, Discovery has recreated Charles Darwin’s ‘Tree of Life’. The newly created ‘Tree of Extinction’ looks at species that have recently become extinct, as well as showcasing species whose numbers are diminishing at rapid rates.  These include the Arctic Fox, the Emperor Penguin, the Common Snowdrop, the Honey Bee and the Indian Elephant.

The Tree of Extinction has five branches which span fish, birds, mammals, plants/trees and insects and showcases just a tiny fraction of endangered species in today’s world.

Racing Extinction exposes the hidden world of endangered species black markets and reveals shocking undercover footage of illegal animal trafficking. It speculates that we are approaching the sixth mass extinction. It is accompanied by the #StartWith1Thing campaign – Discovery’s call to action to create a worldwide movement. Discovery will ignite curiosity and global actions that people can take in four areas: fighting wildlife trafficking, reducing carbon emissions through use of green energy/transport, supporting green causes, and eating less meat – all by starting with one thing.

Dr David L. Roberts, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent said: “It is clear we are entering a time of immense environmental upheaval, with the most worrying outcome being extinction. Once a species is extinct that is millions of years of evolution lost, there is no coming back”.


Louie Psihoyos, Director of Racing Extinction stated: “With the help of Discovery I believe we can create a tipping point to create the change we need to preserve a planet that can sustain life for all species. There has never been a more important time in the world than to be alive now — the decisions we make in the next few years will impact the Earth and animal species for millions of years.”


Racing Extinction is on Wednesday 2nd December at 9pm on Discovery Channel UK



Fiery Angel presents

Lily James and Richard Madden. Credit Johan Persson. (2)





The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, has confirmed that the date of the next Branagh Theatre Live cinema broadcast will be Romeo and Juliet on Thursday 7 July 2016. Tickets for the broadcast of Romeo and Juliet and details of participating cinemas can be found at

Reuniting the stars of his celebrated film Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh will direct Richard Madden and Lily James in Shakespeareʼs heartbreaking tale of forbidden love, with Derek Jacobi as Mercutio. Romeo and Juliet will play at the Garrick from 12 May to 13 August 2016.

The Winter’s Tale, which is now sold out at the Garrick, will be screened in more than 1,300 cinemas worldwide, including over 500 in the UK this evening at 19:00 (Thursday 26 November). Additional encore screenings will be held throughout December and January.  Tickets are now on sale and participating cinemas can be found at

The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, which opened to critical acclaim at London’s Garrick Theatre on 7 November, is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh. Judi Dench plays Paulina oppositeKenneth Branagh as Leontes.

The cinema broadcasts of The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet will be directed by Benjamin Caron, who has also recently collaborated with Kenneth Branagh on the forthcoming series ofWallander, due to be broadcast on the BBC in 2016. John Osborne’s The Entertainer, which will be the final production in the Plays at the Garrick season (20 August – 12 November), will also be broadcast to cinemas in 2016.

The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, Red Velvet, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. For more information and to buy theatre tickets for these productions please see



Cinema ticket bookings:

The Winters Tale is currently playing in repertory alongside Rattigan double bill Harlequinade / All On Her Own at the Garrick.

Garrick Theatre
2 Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0HH
Garrick Theatre Box Office: 0844 482 9673

Online Theatre Bookings:
Tickets from £15

No booking fees or transaction fees on any ticket booked direct through,, direct telephone bookings at the Garrick Theatre and to personal callers at the Garrick Theatre.

TodayTix run a £15 Front Row Mobile Lottery via the TodayTix App for all productions of the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season. The Front Row Lottery will open from midnight for performances that day and close four hours prior to the chosen performance. Customers who share their entry via Twitter or Facebook will gain an additional entry into the Lottery. Every entrant has the potential of three entries per performance.

Theatre Twitter

Live Screening Twitter

Theatre Facebook & YouTube
Search: Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company

Live Screening Facebook
Search: Branagh Theatre Live

17 October 2015 – 16 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 2pm
Captioned Performance: 9 December 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 16 December 7.30pm

The Winter’s Tale will play in repertory with Harlequinade. Performances of The Winter’s Tale will be as follows:
17, 19, 20, 21, 29, 30 & 31 October at 7.30pm
31 October at 2.30pm
3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26 & 30 November at 7.30pm
4, 14, 21 & 25 November at 2.30pm
1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 31 December at 7.30pm,
2, 9, 16, 23, 24 & 31 December at 2.30pm
2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 January at 7.30pm
2, 9 & 16 January at 2.30pm

24 October 2015 – 13 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 8pm
Captioned Performance: 10 December 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 15 December 7.30pm

Harlequinade will play in repertory with The Winter’s Tale. Performances of Harlequinade will be as follows:
24, 26, 27 & 28 October at 7.30pm
28 October at 2.30pm
2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27 & 28 November at 7.30pm
11, 18 & 28 November at 2.30pm
3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 24, 28, 29 & 30 December at 7.30pm
5, 12, 19 & 28 December at 2.30pm
4, 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 January at 7.30pm
6 & 13 January at 2.30pm

12 May 2016 – 13 August 2016
Press performance: 25 May 7pm
Live cinema broadcast: 7 July
Captioned Performance: 31 May 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 7 June 7.30pm
Performances Monday – Saturday with 2.30pm matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays excluding 14 May and 25 May.

World AIDS Day – Rutter Requiem Performance


WORLD AIDS DAY 2015 –  ‘Time To Reflect, Remember & Celebrate’

Tuesday 1 December, 12 noon – 1pm

St Paul’s (The Actors’) Church, Covent Garden


WAD15 Requiem A3 v4

The Make A Difference Trust warmly invites you to a free performance of John Rutter’s Requiem onWorld AIDS Day 2015Tuesday 1 December, from 12 noon – 1.00pm, at St Paul’s (The Actor’s) Church in Covent Garden in London’s West End.


The one-hour performance of John Rutter’s glorious Requiem will be sung by a choir of professional West End singers past and present, conducted by Jae Alexander, and featuring soprano soloist,Rebecca Caine, with a reading by actor, Nickolas Grace.


The concert, which is subtitled ‘Taking Time to Reflect, Remember and Celebrate’, invites everyone to come together as one community – from those working in the HIV and AIDS sector and members of the theatre industry, to others who might wish to remember loved ones or simply support the cause and enjoy the performance.


This special event is being held to remember those people who the community has lost to AIDS, to reflect upon what has been achieved and what is still to be done in the fights against HIV and AIDS, and to celebrate over 25 years of fundraising and grant-making by the theatre industry for this cause.


Whilst the concert is free of charge, any donations made on the day will be used to continue the work of The Make a Difference Trust.


Originally founded as West End Cares in 1990 and later becoming Theatrecares, The Make A Difference Trust (
) (aka MAD Trust & t/a TheatreMAD), is the theatre industry’s response to HIV and AIDS, raising funds for HIV and AIDS Projects that build awareness and provide care, support and education in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.



DATE: Tuesday 1 December 2015

TIME: 12 noon – 1.00pm

VENUE: St Paul’s (The Actor’s Church)

TICKET PRICES:  Free admission (no ticket required); any donations will be gratefully received by The Make A Difference Trust

West-End Transfers, Touring Comedians and Circus in Spring Season at Sutton Theatres

Sutton Theatres presents:


After an exciting first season, Sutton Theatres is proud to announce a spring season of West End transfers, high profile comedians and new circus work alongside local community pieces.

download (41)Beri Juraic, Executive Director of Sutton Theatres, says: “When selecting the programme for our second season, we wanted to bring some of the excitement of experiencing ‘liveness’.” This is clearly echoed in Sutton Theatres’ first production to transfer from the West End – Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, where the audience make suggestions to the cast who create a live musical on the spot.

We are also bringing you some classic Shakespearean magic in Pocket Dream by Propeller, and we welcome the Reduced Shakespeare Company with their complete (abridged) version of all Shakespeare’s plays in just 97 minutes. In March, we also welcome the West End adaptation of Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.

download (42)We’re also proud to play host to some of the biggest stars in comedy, with new tours from Rob Beckett, Lee Nelson, Steve Hall, Richard Herring, Mark Steel, Iain Sterling and more coming to our stages!

For those seeking something entirely different, awe-inspiring contemporary circus comes to Sutton with Opus 7, French circus company Circa Tsuica’s combination of live music with acrobatics, whilst company Bikes and Rabbits’ offer the highly inventive These Books Are Made for Walking, which combines circus skills with theatre.

At The Cryer, we have several magical treats for young and old and our newly created space, Back Door @ The Secombe is again host to cutting-edge theatre, comedy clubs and live gigs!

Join us in making the theatre magical again right on your doorstep!

The Secombe, 42 Cheam Road, Sutton SM1 2SS
Sutton station (7 mins), 151, 213 & 413 buses

The Cryer, 39 High Street, Carshalton SM5 3BB
Carshalton station (9 mins), Wallington station (13 mins), 407, X26, 157 & 127 buses

Oliver Tompsett and Debbie Kurup star in The World Goes Round…

Following a successful run in London earlier this year, The World Goes Round – The Songs of Kander & Ebb transfers to the St James Theatre in February 2016.

The World Goes Round is set to run for a limited season at the St James Studio from 2nd to 7th February 2016. The show pays tribute to the legendary Broadway songwriting duo of John Kander and Fred Ebb, whose work has won them numerous awards during the course of a career which has spanned more than 30 years. The production will feature songs from some of their most celebrated musicals, such as Cabaret, Chicago, Fosse, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Flora the Red Menace, and more.

West End stars Oliver Tompsett (Wicked, We Will Rock You) and Debbie Kurup (Chicago, The Bodyguard) return to headline the show, joined in the cast once again by Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Alexandra Da Silva and Sally Samad. They will be performing such songs as ‘Mr Cellophane’, ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘New York, New York’, accompanied by a live, on-stage band.

The show received its premiere at the Pheasantry in Chelsea in July 2015, and earned rave reviews.

The World Goes Round is produced by Neil Eckersley for Spekulation Entertainment. It was conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson, and includes music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and musical direction by Kris Rawlinson.


World’s oldest theatre newspaper The Stage shakes up iconic design

The world’s oldest theatre publication, The Stage, marks the completion of a raft of improvements on November 26, 2015, with a relaunch of the weekly in print.

The print redesign follows a comprehensive revamp of editorial content last year and is the final chapter in a year-long project to overhaul The Stage across all its platforms. It will see the retirement of The Stage’s iconic black and white masthead which will be replaced with the new white-on-teal version designed for the relaunch of The Stage website in February this year.

The redesign brings the print product in line with the website and features a cleaner, more modern look to reflect the updated editorial content, with a streamlined colour palette focusing on the new teal brand colour.

The Stage continues to carry incisive editorial on the theatre business and publishes more theatre reviews from across the UK than any other publication.

Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, said:
“Over its 135-year history, The Stage has always moved with the times, evolving its design to reflect contemporary tastes. As The Stage website becomes more and more central to an ever-growing readership, we wanted to unite the paper and website under a single design to reflect the fact that readers can access all the great news, reviews, opinion and features we offer in whatever way suits them – whether that be in print, on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

“We launched the new design online earlier this year, where it has proved extremely popular, and we are now rolling it over into our weekly print newspaper. Readers will still be able to enjoy all the great, exclusive coverage they’re used to getting from The Stage, but presented in a cleaner, more modern and easy-to-digest way.”

About The Stage
The Stage Media Company Limited provides news and services for the UK entertainment and performing arts industry.
Established in 1880, The Stage is a must read for those with an involvement or interest in the performing arts industry in the UK and beyond, offering theatre news, reviews, advice and more. The newspaper is published every Thursday and is available to purchase for just £2.10 from newsagents around the country. It is also available for download as a digital edition. The website ( is read by 450,000 unique users a month. The Stage also publishes an annual list of the 100 most influential people in theatre and the performing arts, The Stage 100, and runs The Stage Awards, recognising the best organisations operating within the UK theatre industry.



Final headerNewcastle Theatre Royal has announced record sales for next year’s panto before this year’s production has even opened! It follows the announcement that the 2016/17 panto starring seasonal favourites Danny Adams, Clive Webb, and Chris Hayward will be Cinderella – the greatest panto of them all! (22 Nov ’16 – Sun 15 Jan ’17).

Audiences have been going wild for Cinderella ever since the advanced booking date opened last week to Theatre Royal Friends, Groups and Advantage members and with tickets going on sale to the public today, the Theatre is getting its Box Office staff ready for an extra busy period.

Chief Executive Philip Bernays said: “It is wonderful to see that year on year our sales are going from strength to strength andCinderella has already overtaken the sales we had achieved for Dick Whittington at this same point last year.

“The popularity of our panto is testimony to the quality of both the actors and creative team and we are delighted that Danny, Clive and Chris will be joining us again next year under the expert direction of talented West-End producer Michael Harrison, who we are proud to call a close friend of the Theatre Royal.”

Cinderella will see Danny Adams play Buttons, Clive Webb play Baron Hardup and Chris Hayward play The Fairy Godmother in what promises to be a glittering production sure to delight all the family.

Cinderella will be brought spectacularly to life in a sumptuous production packed with special effects, family-friendly comedy, stunning sets, outrageously dazzling costumes, and that most magical pantomime moment when Cinderella is transported to the Prince’s Ball with the help of a pumpkin, some mice and lots of Fairy Godmother magic!


Newcastle Theatre Royal panto-goers can also be certain of an enchanting score, magnificent dance routines and of course all the latest special effects, provided by The Twins FX, for which the panto has become renowned for in recent years.

Cinderella is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s largest pantomime producer, which will stage 24 productions throughout the UK this Christmas.

Cinderella appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 22 November 2016 – Sunday 15 January 2017. Tickets are available from £13.00 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at

Imogen Stubbs to star in new drama at the King’s Head Theatre, Jan 2016

Paul Minx and the So and So Arts Club present:

starring Imogen Stubbs and Michael Brandon
12 January – 30 January 2016


After a successful first outing as part of the So and So Arts Club’s Hopefull Rep season at the Hope Theatre last August, Paul Minx’s Offie-nominated drama The Long Road South transfers to the King’s Head Theatre in January, starring Imogen Stubbs (famous for her work with the RSC, as well as a wide-ranging and prolific theatrical career) and Michael Brandon (Episodes, Gallivant).

“a serious, deeply satisfying 90 minutes” The Stage

Set in Indiana 1965 during the long, hot summer of the civil rights movement, the world and that of the Price family is about to change. Their two domestic workers, Grace and Andre, intend to collect their wages and head South to join the voting rights marches. And the Price family — Jake, Carol Ann and their teenage Lolita — are each determined to make them stay.

Laced with wit and bitter irony, The Long Road South tells the story of how a man is forced to confront his demons and go to the lengths of his being to find out who he is and get what’s rightly his.

“an arresting, potent watch with a lot of bold statements to make” The Upcoming

Writer Paul Minx says “The play tells the story of an African-American man who helped raised me. He was gentle, religious and angry – all at the same time. He wanted to be part of the American civil rights movement but never found the personal courage to march or get involved. He didn’t think he was good enough. He was brought down by the ‘day-to-day racism’ – the constant reminders African-Americans received that they weren’t as good as whites. This is the hardest prejudice to fight and it ate away at his soul. I wrote the play as a testament to him.”

The cast also includes Krissi Bohn (Coronation Street, The Bogus Woman), Cornelius McCarthy (Out Of Joint’s Our Country’s Good) and Lydea Perkins (She Stoops To Conquer, Theatre Royal Bath). The show will be directed by Sarah Berger, who founded the So and So Arts Club; a collective of 1200 artists from nine countries, cross-generational and cross-discipline, who have come together to generate paid work. The play was cast by Kate Plantin CDG.

After a bombastic, exciting and innovative 45th year, the King’s Head continues its new artistic policy of being a crucible of new writing and critical rediscoveries, whilst also welcoming the much-anticipated return of pub opera, with the aim of being the best pub theatre in London. The King’s Head offers an unashamedly broad church of programming including theatre, musical theatre and opera, transfers to and from the biggest arts festivals in the world, and a trail-blazing policy of ethical employment on the fringe – if it’s on here, you won’t see it anywhere else.



LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Cast of the National Youth Theatre West End REP season perform at the National Youth Theatre fundraiser at Bloomsbury Hotel on November 23, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

National Youth Theatre FundraiserOn Monday 23 November, The National Youth Theatre hosted a fundraising gala ‘Stars and Stripes Thanksgiving Feast’ at The Bloomsbury Hotel, attended by current NYT performers, past alumni and VIP guests. The event raised more than £80k which will continue to support The National Youth Theatre’s ongoing projects.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  (L-R) NYT Chair and CEO of Getty Images  Dawn Airey, writer Anthony Horowitz, TV Producer Jill Green and actress Fiona Mollison attend the National Youth Theatre fundraiser at Bloomsbury Hotel on November 23, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Anthony Horowitz;Dawn Airey;Jill Green;Fiona Mollison

Guests included Larry Lamb, Jessica Henwick, Ross Kemp, Olivia Poulet, Daisy Lewis, Spencer Wilding, Charlie Redmayne, Antony Horowitz , Will Tudor, Janet Ellis, Sope Dirisu, Reece Ritchie, Sair Khan, Paula Wilcox, Dawn Airey, Sophie Turner Laing, Russ Lindsay, Tom Allen , Fiona Mollison, David Gilmore, John Robinson, David National Youth Theatre FundraiserPearl and Gemma Oaten.

Lord Harry Dalmeny hosted an auction of very special prizes including tickets for Othellostarring NYT alumni Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo in New York next autumn off Broadway as well as an opportunity to meet the pair and a night in The Park Plaza, an opportunity to make your TV debut on Channel 4’s Humans, a night for two at Soho Farmhouse with a helicopter ride, as well as many exclusive prizes donated by Barbara Broccoli, Matthew Warchus, Annette and Nick Mason and Nick Jones.National Youth Theatre Fundraiser

Entertainment at the event came from The National Youth Theatre who performed a cabaret of ‘Broadway Turkeys’.

The evening was made possible thanks to the support of The Bloomsbury Hotel where VIP attendees enjoyed a dinner of venison and pistachio terrine with orchard apple and redcurrant relish, traditional roast bronze turkey crown, smoked pancetta, basil and pine nut stuffing served with green beans, cranberries and blue cheese, and sweet potato pie wrapped in filo followed by Pecan and chocolate pie, salted caramel ice National Youth Theatre Fundraisercream.

National Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre FundraiserNational Youth Theatre Fundraiser