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Top ten ways to celebrate Roald Dahl Day

It's the centenary of Roald Dahl's birth on September 13. Here's what you can do to celebrate

City of the Unexpected, Cardiff. 17 to 18 September

City of the Unexpected

This massive celebration of Roald Dahl takes place in the writer's birth city over one weekend. Nigel Jamieson directs a cast of 6,000 who will be performing in shops, city landmarks and more as part of the Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre of Wales' event. On Sunday, Bute Park hosts the Great Pyjama Picnic and there are also ticketed readings all over the place. If you want to make any sort of Dahl pilgrimage this year, then this should certainly be top of your list.

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories, National Museum, Cardiff. Until 20 November.


© Quentin Blake

This exhibition focuses on the man behind those iconic pictures we all associate with Dahl. Featuring first roughs and storyboards that have never been shown before, you can see many of the original sketches for books like The Twits, Danny the Champion of the World, as well as sketches from David Walliams' book The Boy in the Dress.

Dinner at the Twits, The Vaults, Southwark. Until 30 October.

A mock-up of Dinner at the Twits

A brand new adult adaptation of Dahl's novel about the scruffiest, nastiest duo takes place underground in London. The show hasn't officially opened yet, but pre-show rumours tell us that mad food scientists Bompas and Parr will be cooking up a real horror-show for the audience's delectation. You literally get dinner, with the Twits. Worm spaghetti anyone?

The BFG in Pictures, House of Illustration, King's Cross. Until 2 October.

A sketch from The BFG
© Quentin Blake

Currently open in London is this brilliant exhibition of BFG illustrations. The exhibition features both illustrations used in the original book and those that never saw the light of day by Dahl's long-term collaborator Quentin Blake.

Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre, London. Until May 2017.

Matilda the Musical
© Helen Maybanks

The RSC, Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's smash-hit musical adaptation of Dahl's classic tale is a great way to experience the story anew. It's been in the West End for a while, but it's still at the top of its game and should delight naughty Dahl fans whatever their age.

Roald Dahl afternoon tea at The Shard. Available Monday to Friday 1pm to 5pm.

The Shard
© Paul Hudson

If you fancy toasting Dahl while gazing out at one of the best views in London, you can't go wrong with this afternoon tea at Aqua Shard, the British restaurant and bar on the 31st floor. The menu doesn't look too weird and features a Roly-Poly Bird choux bun, The Witches chocolate mice and a BFG breakfast sandwich. You can upgrade your afternoon tea to a champagne infused one too...

Puffin Books Virtually Live webcast. Tuesday 13 September. Until 2pm.

Penguin Virtually Live

This free interactive webcast takes place on Dahl's actual birthday. The webcast will feature - among much else - a performance from the cast of Matilda, a peek at the archives of the Roald Dahl Museum, and a look behind the scenes on Spielberg's The BFG. It's broadcast from the Cambridge Theatre and to view the webcast you need to create an account here and log in on the day.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London. Until 7 January 2017.

The cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It's one of the last chances you have to catch this big, bright and beautiful staging of Roald Dahl's book, about a boy and a chocolate factory, in London as producers announced the show will be finishing its run in the capital and heading out on tour next year. It's a smart adaptation, with some fantastic sets and Jonathan Slinger is currently giving a luminous performance as Willy Wonka.

The Witches, West Yorkshire Playhouse. 2 December to 21 January.

The Witches
© Catherine Ashmore

David Wood's adaptation was a hit when it premiered last year at Leicester Curve. Now the show is back, this time in Yorkshire, for a Christmas run. It's a great alternative festive show for ages 5 and up. Read our review of the production here.

Museum of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl Museum, Missenden. Saturday 17 September 11am to 5 pm.

The Museum of the Unexpected in Missenden

Of course the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is going to be the place to be to celebrate Roald Dahl day. On the 17 September the little village of Missenden in Buckhinghamshire, where Dahl lived and wrote for 36 years will be full of Dahl enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes. The Museum of the Unexpected is an all day celebration which features a scent trail, storytelling, face painting and balloon modelling and some magic thrown in too.

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