The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl wrote many of my favourite children’s books and I’m pleased that my sons love them just as much as I do. Dahl was born in 1916 and many events are planned to celebrate this centenary year.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the press preview of the new “Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl” exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London. 

The exhibition is aimed at children aged between 7 and 12, so I brought my two boys (8 and 10) along to experience it. 

The exhibition is set up in the same way as an immersive theatre, with each room transformed into another world. They’ve done everything from creating a miniature forest (Danny the Champion of the World), to a room with everything stuck to the ceiling (The Twits). 

Photo Credit: Vic Frankowski

Photo Credit: Vic Frankowski

But the rooms do more than simply reflect each book, they show how Dahl’s life influenced his literature. There is a classroom, displaying Dahl’s school reports and letters home; and one set up as the scene of Dahl’s plane crash in the Libyan desert.  I especially liked the way photos of the people who influenced Dahl’s characters were displayed. 

This isn’t a dry museum – children will learn things without even realising they’re doing so. I loved the sense of fun that was present throughout. Both my boys enjoyed their time in the exhibition and I recommend it to anyone who loves Dahl’s writing as much as I do.


Photo Credit: Vic Frankowski

Photo Credit: Vic Frankowski

‘The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl’ is part of the Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre. Tickets cost £11 for adults, £9 for children.

They have a range of events for children (including talks with David Walliams, Michael Morpurgo and Cressida Cowell) between 10th – 21st February. For more details see the Imagine Children’s Festival Website. 

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  1. JC Sutcliffe says:

    I hope the exhibition will move somewhere else afterwards. I’d be sad to miss it but no way I can get there before July.

    1. Jackie says:

      It’s moving to Cardiff in July. Hope that’s more convenient for you!

  2. Jeanne says:

    That sounds like a wonderful exhibit. Ron and I love Dahl and read most of his books to our kids (until they got old enough to read them on their own). We loved some of the really perverse ones like George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Twits, and The Vicar of Nibbleswick.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jeanne, I’ve read some to my boys and have listened to most of the rest on audio with them (they are great on audio!). My current favourite is George’s Marvellous Medicine, but I think I preferred Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a child. It’s amazing that the books have aged so well – most other books from my childhood feel quite dated now.

  3. How fantastically cool! I wish I could be in London to go to it. I love love love Roald Dahl!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I hope you do make it to London one day – it would be fantastic to meet you!

  4. I agree with Jenny–wish I could travel to London for many reasons, this exhibit among them! Very glad you got to go to this exhibit with your boys!

    Have you read any of Dahl’s short stories for adults? SO awesome. I read a collection titled “Kiss, Kiss” years ago…and don’t remember much about it except loving it, so it must be time to read it again.

    1. Jackie says:

      Citizen Reader, Yes, I read his short stories as a teenager – all I remember is that they really freaked me out! I should probably re-read them now as I can’t remember much about them. He is such a fantastic author :-)

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