The Imagination Awards
Young Theatre Designer Award

Patron & Judges

Professor Sir Ken Robinson - PATRON

Professor Sir Ken Robinson Young Theatre Designer Award Patron

Sir Ken Robinson is an international authority on creativity and innovation in education and business. Videos of his famous talks to the prestigious TED Conference are the most viewed in the history of the organisation and have been seen by an estimated 300 million people in over 150 countries. From 1989 – 2001 he was Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick and is now Professor Emeritus. He works with governments and education systems in Europe, Asia and the US, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and some of the world's leading cultural organisations. Called one of the world's élite thinkers by Fast Company Magazine, he has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking work in education and social change. In 2003 he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts.

He was included in Thinkers50 list of the world's leading business thinkers and was named one of Time/Fortune/CNN's Principal Voices. His book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times best seller and has been translated into 23 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. His 2013 book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, is also a New York Times best seller. His latest book, Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education From The Ground Up, was published by Penguin in June 2015.

"Imagination and creativity are at the very heart of being human, and they should be at the heart of education too. My congratulations and gratitude to all at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical for recognising the vital need to develop the creative powers of all children and for the enlightened, practical support they offer to schools, teachers and students to do just that."

Sam Mendes - JUDGE


Sam Mendes Young Theatre Designer Award Judge

Sam Mendes's work directing theatre and film spans 25 years.

In 1998 he directed his first film American Beauty, winning the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture, as well as the Golden Globe and Directors' Guild Awards. He has since directed the Academy Award-winning Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Skyfall and most recently the latest instalment in the Bond franchise, Spectre.

In 2003 he founded Neal Street Productions with Pippa Harris and Caro Newling. Neal Street has produced the BAFTA award-winning television series Call the Midwife, The Hollow Crown and Penny Dreadful; several movies including Things We Lost in the Fire, Stuart A Life Backwards and Starter for 10; and in the theatre the long-running Shrek The Musical and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is currently running in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Sam's theatre career began in his early twenties. At 24 years old he became the first Artistic Director of the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. At 27 he founded the Donmar Warehouse in London, which he ran for ten years, and where he directed many productions including Assassins, Cabaret, Translations, Glengarry Glen Ross, Company, The Glass Menagerie, Habeas Corpus, The Blue Room, To The Green Fields Beyond, Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night. It has become one of the world's leading playhouses.

In 2009 he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, for which he directed The Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, As You Like It and Richard III. His many theatre awards include: four Olivier Awards, two Tony Awards, four Evening Standard Awards, several Critics' Choice Awards and the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize.

Other theatre includes: For the Royal Shakespeare Company: Troilus and Cressida, Richard III, The Tempest and The Alchemist. For the National Theatre: The Sea, The Birthday Party, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Othello and King Lear. In the West End: The Cherry Orchard, London Assurance, Kean, Oliver! and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On Broadway: Cabaret, The Blue Room, Gypsy and The Vertical Hour.

He was awarded a CBE in 2000 and a Directors' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Jess Moore - JUDGE

Jess Moore Young Theatre Designer Award Judge

Director of Corporate Responsibility, Warner Bros.

Jess Moore heads up Corporate Responsibility for Warner Bros. in the UK, Spain and Ireland, and leads Warner Bros. Creative Talent, a programme which invests in talented young people who wouldn't otherwise be able to pursue a career in the creative industries. Young people of all backgrounds are given industry experience and insight across Warner Bros.' Film, Games, Television and Theatre businesses and productions through scholarships, apprenticeships and trainee placements, including the 'Golden Ticket' placements on Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Jess graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Politics, and subsequently trained as a Corporate lawyer, working for Travers Smith, Addleshaw Goddard and The Co-operative Group. While at The Co-operative, she moved into Corporate Responsibility, and designed and launched its 'Inspiring Young People' initiative. She then moved to vInspired, a national youth charity as its Commercial Director, before joining Warner Bros. in 2012. Jess acts as an advisor to Tender, a charity which uses theatre and the arts to enable young people to avoid abusive and violent relationships. She is also a writer and her first play 'Gin For Breakfast' is currently indevelopment.

Caro Newling - JUDGE


Caro Newling Young Theatre Designer Award Judge

Under the banner of Neal Street Productions, Caro Newling is the producer of the new stage versions of Shrek the Musical (2011) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013), both at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. She is currently President of Society of London Theatre, Chair of Paines Plough and the Linbury Prize for Stage Design. Caro was also a trustee of the National Theatre between 2003 and 2010. Caro and Sam Mendes established and ran the Donmar Warehouse between 1992 and 2002. Caro was the architect of The Bridge Project, a unique three-year transatlantic and global venture with the Old Vic in London and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. Caro's other projects for Neal Street Productions have included UK and world premiere productions Fuddy Meers (2004), Anna in the Tropics (2004), The Vertical Hour (2006), All About My Mother (2007), The House of Special Purpose (2009) and Three Days of Rain (2009). Other West End and Broadway transfers during Caro's career have included Sunday in the Park with George (2006), Hamlet (2009), Mary Stuart (2009), Enron (2010), Red (2010), South Downs/The Browning Version (2012) and Merrily We Roll Along (2013).

Mark Thompson - JUDGE

Mark Thompson Young Theatre Designer Award Judge

Set and Costume Designer, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Mark Thompson is the winner of four Olivier Awards and two Critics' Circle Awards. He has been nominated for five Tony Awards. In 2014 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Costume. Designs include: One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre, Theatre Royal, Haymarket, and Broadway), MAMMA MIA! (worldwide), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (worldwide), The Blue Room (Donmar, Broadway), Company (Donmar, Albery), Doctor Dolittle (Hammersmith Apollo), Bombay Dreams (London and Broadway), Art (worldwide), The Children's Hour (Comedy), The Lady in the Van (Queen's), La Bête (Comedy and Broadway), God of Carnage (Gielgud and Broadway) and Funny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre).