A personal account of a rumpledumpus Roald Dahl Day, by Museum Front of House team member and part-time Willy Wonka, Will Dawson-Pick
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
It’s more than likely that visitors leaving the museum on 13 September 2014 will have declared the same thing 50 years after those words were first written.
The Museum became a hurricane of activity and excitement throughout the day – a sort of physical manifestation of the power of Roald Dahl’s stories. It truly was a day of wonder and magic, joy and laughter – a world of pure imagination.
Everywhere you looked there was something exciting going on. Visitors young and old took part in Wonka Bar decorating sessions, archive tours and trails around the village led by characters from the books. They were mesmerised by magicians, bogswizzled by balloon modellers and transformed by face painters.
They enthusiastically joined in hourly ‘Rubbish Orchestra’ recitals, chanting a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired song and performing on instruments made from recycled kitchen items.
If organised fun didn’t appeal, visitors could join in with the total anarchy of the interactive storytelling sessions, using Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts and Revolting Rhymes – events which looked like they might have been directed and produced by Tim Burton and Michel Gondry in some crazy partnership!
I imagine that the children were suitably worn out, or possibly even unconscious on the journey home, perhaps in part the consequence of a monumental sugar crash courtesy of the resident Oompa Loompas and chocolate factory boss Willy Wonka (yours truly) handing out a never-ending supply of sweets. The ensuing silence may well have been met with feelings of relief from exhausted parents after such a whirlwind of events. If so, you’re more than welcome!
There was never a moment’s respite and thanks everyone who took part so enthusiastically and to the incredible hard work of all staff involved - particularly those rushed off their feet in Café Twit, the day was a roaring success.
Roll on Roald Dahl Day 2015!