Celebrating 50 years: February

Posted by
Roald Dahl HQ
Posted on
10:58am, 31st January
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

February 1st sees the kick-off of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"GREETINGS TO YOU, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr Willy Wonka!" 

In the original publication of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket found his Golden Ticket to Mr Wonka's factory on 31st January, and the factory gates opened on 1st February at ten o'clock sharp. 

So in 2014, as we celebrate the story's 50th anniversary, we'll be kicking off our celebrations from 31st January.

To start with, you can look forward to: 

31st January:

Later today we'll be at The South Bank Centre in London with Roald Dahl's grandson Luke Kelly and Nigel Planer, who plays Grandpa Joe in the West End musical production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as they launch the wonderful Imagine Festival. Look out for pictures and tweets here.

In the UK, the new Roald Dahl Audio App goes live on the App Store - listen to sample chapters from every title and then download your favourites. Douglas Hodge, who plays Willy Wonka in the musical production, reads Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Listen here.

1st February:

The special Wonka gates, created by Warner Brothers after the 2005 film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Tim Burton, will have their grand opening at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Roald Dahl's hometown of Great Missenden. And there is free entry for children dressed as a character from the book. For visitor information, click here.

If you can't get to Great Missenden, there are still plenty of ways to get involved in the celebrations. After 50 years of publication, we know there are a lot of editions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out there in the world - but which one did you have? Click here for information on how to share YOUR cover with us!

15th February:

As part of the South Bank Centre's Charlie 50th anniversary celebrations, this year's Imagine Festival includes a very special installation for all you storytellers and lovers - it's Grandpa Joe's Giant Storytelling Bed... 

23rd February:

Sir Quentin Blake was Roald Dahl's principal illustrator. As part of the South Bank Centre's Imagine Festival, he gives a very special talk on what it was like to work on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - including live drawing. 

Also in February:

  • Puffin Books publish a NEW double-cover, golden-ticket edition of the famous story.
  • Roald Dahl HQ and Puffin Books will be sharing some of our own childhood covers and memories of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - keep an eye out online.
  • ...and there will be lots lots more to come throughout the year, so stay tuned.