Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to 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.

Photo: Matt Crockett