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Wed 16 Nov 2016

Roald Dahl 100 Wales Highlights

Roald Dahl was one of the world’s most inventive, mischievous, and successful storytellers. As his country of birth, Wales is proud to have played a special part in the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations.

An array of events, exhibitions, happenings and grassroots activity have taken place across Wales throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

Here are just a few of the many highlights: 

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories
National Museum Cardiff
Quentin Blake: Inside Stories celebrated the work of one of the world’s most important and bestloved illustrators. Best known for his illustrations in the books of Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake’s work is recognised worldwide. This exhibition gave a unique insight into the origins of some of Blake’s most iconic and popular creations.

Over 3,000 school pupils have visited or attended workshops linked to the exhibition, and nearly 1,000 people took part in illustration and writing workshops over the summer holidays, including many Communities First family learning groups.


Roald Dahl on Film
Film Hub Wales
and Chapter Arts Centre
The Roald Dahl on Film season was jam-packed with interactive screenings, thrilling cinema experiences, workshops and more. Across Wales and the UK, audiences delighted in ‘Scratch ‘n’ Sniff’ Matilda, and screenings of the highly anticipated 2016 release of The BFG.


Adventure is just a Page Away
National Library of Wales,
Pages from Roald Dahl’s original manuscripts (on loan from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre), including James and the Giant Peach, were on display at The National Library of Wales as part of their Adventure is just a Page Away exhibition.


Hay Festival
Hay Festival celebrated Roald Dahl 100 with a range of special programming, including Dahl’s Most Villainous Villains, in which top authors Francesca Simon, Steven Butler, Philip Ardagh and Andy Stanton argued for their favourite villain under the supervision of Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell; and Roald Dahl fans, wordsmiths and wannabe writers swashboggled their
way through the wonderful writing of the world’s number 1 storyteller in The Word Wizards’ Guide to Roald Dahl. Supported by Invent your Event.


Land of Song
Wales Millennium Centre
and The Aloud Charity
Primary school children across Wales took part in Land of Song, using a Roald Dahl-inspired online songbook to discover the joy of singing with energy and confidence. The Land of Song project culminated in June with three simultaneous live concerts held in Llandudno, Aberystwyth and Cardiff.


Devising Dahl
Wales Millennium Centre
and The Aloud Charity
Classes from five primary schools in Cardiff, Swansea, Caerphilly, Holyhead and Rhyl took part in sessions with artists Caryl Parry Jones and Ed Holden to create their own Roald Dahl inspired songs. This literature and music project included the young people writing lyrics, recording their songs and performing for their fellow pupils and parents.


National Eisteddfod
The Eisteddfod Maes in Abergavenny was alive with the stories and magic of Roald Dahl. Readings, workshops and performances took place in unexpected and unusual places, including a suitably giant peach! Budding illustrators delved into their innermost imaginations with artist Bethan Clwyd and actor Gareth Potter entertained with readings from The Twits. Visitors to the maes also enjoyed a specially-commissioned Roald Dahl-inspired treasure hunt. Supported by Invent your Event.


Splendiferous Science
Techniquest, Cardiff Bay
Ever wondered if there was an easy way to find a golden ticket? Can you move objects with your mind like Matilda? Can bubbles really float downwards like they do in the BFG? We found out the answers to these and more in Techniquest’s splendiferous new science theatre show. Supported by Invent your Event.


The Enormous Weekend
Gwynedd Council and Palas Print
Caernarfon town centre played host to a weekend full of creative and fun activities for children and families inspired by the works of Roald Dahl. Children created their own Welsh giants with author Bethan Gwanas, scribbled with Huw Aaron, and got crafty building their own enormous crocodiles. Supported by Invent your Event.


Roald Dahl: Imagine That!
Welsh Books Council and Mewn
Cymeriad/In Character
This new theatre in education show for KS2 primary school children was created with the specific aim of encouraging children to read. The audience are introduced to Alf – a colourful, intriguing character who LOVES to read. Alf shares with the children his love of reading, and reveals the adventures that happen to him when he starts to read. His absolute favourite author is Roald Dahl and he introduces his top 5 Dahl books in a fun and interactive way. Script by Bardd Plant Cymru, Anni Llŷn.


Dahlightful Stories Competition
Welsh Books Council
Children in Wales were invited to write their own Roald Dahl-inspired adventure story for this exciting and adventurous new creative writing competition for children in Years 3 to 13. Leading authors Phil Carradice, Horatio Clare and Dr Elin Meek judged the entries. The winning and shortlisted entries will be published in an anthology.


New plaques unveiled in Llandaff
The Llandaff Society co-ordinated the unveiling of four plaques, by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, London, Ms Ragnhild Imerslund, on buildings in Llandaff that have a historic association with Roald Dahl. There were two blue plaques, one for his birthplace at Villa Marie and the second one for his home at Cumberland Lodge (now the nursery of Howell’s School). The former sites of the two schools Roald Dahl attended, Elm Tree House and the Cathedral School, were also commemorated with plaques in the schools’ colours.


The Wondercrump World
of Roald Dahl
Wales Millennium Centre,
Southbank Centre and the Roald Dahl
Museum and Story Centre
A magical and interactive journey to discover the secrets of a writer beloved by children of all ages. Visitors to Wondercrump learned about Roald Dahl’s extraordinary life and the surprising inspiration for his most famous characters and stories. The tour featured unique items from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre archives.


Royal Visit
As Patron of Roald Dahl 100, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, was treated to a flavour of the activities taking place in Wales. Also present at the Cardiff visit, was Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, and official biographer, Donald Sturrock. Her Royal Highness met poet Rufus Mufasa, who had been working with children from Grangetown and Cadoxton Primary Schools to create rap and spoken word pieces inspired by Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes; and Welsh singer and songwriter, Caryl Parry Jones who introduced a rehearsal of pieces from Devising Dahl featuring pupils from Windsor Clive Primary School, Ely. The Duchess was among the first to see ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine Machine’ one of the installations created for Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected. The visit culminated in a stunning performance from children from the Only Kids Aloud Chorus led by Tim Rhys-Evans.


Gagglebabble & National Theatre
Wales with Wales Millennium Centre
Wonderman, a play with music adapted from Roald Dahl’s Stories for adults, was performed at Cardiff’s Tramshed in September, opening on the very day of Dahl’s centenary. A unique take on Roald Dahl’s early short stories for adults, this brand new production combined original music, a cracking live band, grisly plots, soaring imaginings and thrilling twists and turns, all injected with a wicked sense of dark humour.


Roald Dahl Day
The biggest ever global celebration of Roald Dahl’s birthday! Schools, libraries, bookshops and community groups across Wales and around the world celebrated 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. At the same time, the hugely popular Dahlicious Dress Up Day was marked in schools across the UK in support of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.


Plus, Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival, The Urdd Eisteddfod, the Radyr and Morganstown Festival, The Big Friendly Read, Cardiff University Roald Dahl Centenary Conference, Swansea International Festival, Cardiff Metropolitan’s Fantastic Mr Dahl Conference, ‘No Book Ever Ends’ at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Gladfest, The Edge Festival Solva, North Wales International Music Festival, Velvet Coalmine in Blackwood, the Stephens and George Charitable Trust Spread the Word Children’s Literature Festival (Merthyr Tydfil), Llangollen Fringe Denbighshire, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Concert of the Unexpected’, and RawFfest to name only a few…

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