Sam Mendes to judge Imagination Awards

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Fri 22 Jan 2016 13:04

Sam Mendes will be among the panel judging the first ever Imagination Awards, which were launched by hit family West End musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory today.

Mendes, who directs the successful Roald Dahl adaptation running at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is joined on the judging panel of the Young Theatre Design Award by his Charlie colleagues, producer Caro Newling and designer Mark Thompson, along with Warner Bros’ Director of Corporate Responsibility Jess Moore.

The Charlie’s Challenge award, for an invention that would help a family member, will be judged by a team from outside the sweet-toothed production: structural engineer Roma Agrawal, Thinkspace founder James Anderson, the Science Museum’s Inventor in Residence Mark Champkins and animator Emily Mulhall.

In addition to the judges, educationalist Sir Ken Robinson has joined the awards as its Patron.

Speaking about the new awards, Mendes said: “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.”

The inaugural Imagination Awards opened for entries today and will close on 6 June. The Charlie’s Challenge section is open to anyone aged between five and 15-years-old, while the Young Theatre Design Award is for 16 to 18-year-olds.

Full information can be found at the awards’ website.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory tells the much loved story of a poor young boy whose dreams come true when he wins the chance to take a tour round the factory of world renowned chocolatier Willy Wonka. What he finds is beyond his imagination.

The musical is currently booking at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane until 3 December 2016. You can book tickets for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory through us here, or for performances until 12 February 2016 you can get reduced price tickets through our promotion Get Into London Theatre.