Young finalist in West End show design awards

The finished costume design by Matilda Wyatt.
The finished costume design by Matilda Wyatt.

A student from Heckington was a finalist in a competition to encourage budding theatre designers with award-winning West End show, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Kesteven and Sleaford High School pupil Matilda Wyatt, 16, was among 12 designers shortlisted in the 13 to 18 years category for costume design in The Imagination Awards.

The finished costume design by Matilda Wyatt. EMN-160713-181825001

The finished costume design by Matilda Wyatt. EMN-160713-181825001

The awards are a new competition launched by the award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to encourage creativity among inventive youngsters and budding theatre designers.

The Young Theatre Designers category (split into 13-18 and 19-21) received many fascinating, inspiring and creative entries, including Matilda’s original costume design for a female Willy Wonka using recycled sweet wrappers, which impressed the judges so much that it made the final shortlist.

Matilda explained her design was incorporated as part of her GCSE textiles course to design and make a garment.

She said: “As I love drama I wanted to do the costume design brief.”

This was to undertake a commission by a national theatre company to make a costume for a modern production in the West End.

She said: “I chose to design a costume for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but with a modern twist, Willy Wonka being female.”

She kept the jacket idea but opted to make the skirt more feminine with lots of movement for the stage, while the metallic sweet papers would catch the lights.

Matilda said: “I am really pleased with my finished costume, it looks exactly how I imagined it would.”

Her textiles teacher, Bronwyn Fleming, commented that the make and finish were very good.

She said: “Matilda is passionate about the theatre and is considering it as a career as she loves all elements of working ‘back stage’.

Among the panel of judges were educationalist Sir Ken Robinson and director Sam Mendes.

The young designers could win a VIP visit and behind-the-scenes experience to the hit West End show to meet the cast and back stage crew.