ROALD DAHL’S PHIZZ-WHIZZING CENTENARY
Next year marks 100 years since the ingenious storyteller’s birth on 13 September 1916, and Britain is celebrating in style.
Do you remember your first Roald Dahl encounter or the moment you first shared his stories with your child? Perhaps it was being thrilled by Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, or reciting ‘Revolting Rhymes’. Maybe it was feeling magic in ‘Matilda’, fearing pointy toes in ‘The Witches’, soaring with James on a Giant Peach or learning that not all giants are bad in ‘The BFG’. (Mine was travelling through space in the Great Glass Elevator.)
No matter what your recollection, nearly all of us have a memory of Roald Dahl. Since his first kids’ book in 1943 (‘The Gremlins’), he has ruled children’s – and adults’ – hearts as a gifted storyteller and a master of the imaginary.
In 2016, the world celebrates the centenary of his birth with events taking place across the United Kingdom. In Cardiff, where Dahl was born, an extravaganza called City of the Unexpected will take over the Welsh capital in September, while the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, will fete the anniversary with a focus on each of his bestloved stories over the course of the year. And for everyone around the world, there will be free Roald Dahl 100 party kits to be downloaded from the website to celebrate the world’s number one storyteller on his birthday, 13 September.
For any young fans of literature, chocolate factories or mischief, Roald Dahl 100 is sure to be the most scrumdiddlyumptious time to visit the landscapes that gave rise to some of our favourite stories.
STARTING AT THE SOUTHBANK
Immerse yourself in the creativity of Dahl at February’s ground-breaking exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London. The secrets of his craft will be on display and brought to life from the museum’s unique archive with a theatrical flourish. After inspiring a new generation of creative writers until the English summer, the exhibition will move to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.
CITY OF THE UNEXPECTED
In honour of the storyteller’s birthday in September, this weekend- long city- wide festival is set to transform the everyday sights of Cardiff into wonders from Dahl’s imagination. The coproduction between the National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre will be directed by Nigel Jamieson, the maestro responsible for the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games, so you can be sure it will be truly spectacular.