Happy birthday, Roald Dahl!
An array of fantastical events across the UK marks the century that has passed since one of the world's best-loved authors was born
Today marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl but time hasn't changed how children and adults alike feel about his work. Readers young and old continue to be captivated by his phizz-whizzing tales and endlessly inventive wit.
This weekend, Dahl's home town of Cardiff is paying tribute to the author in suitably weird and wonderful style with a two-day extravaganza staged by the Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre Wales. City of the Unexpected will see more than 6,000 performers sing, dance and act their way across the Welsh capital, along with a number of readings by some of Dahl's biggest and best-known fans in some rather unusual locations. Enthusiasts will also want to set aside time before 20 November to visit Quentin Blake: Inside Stories – an exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff, co-curated by Dahl's illustrator collaborator, that charts the visual evolution of some of the writer's most memorable characters.
There's plenty of opportunity to indulge your child-like curiosity with some strictly adult-only activities elsewhere in the country, too. Theatre company Les Enfants Terribles and EBP, the creators of the Olivier Award-nominated Alice's Adventures Underground, invite you to Dinner at the Twits. Taking place in The Vaults in London's Waterloo until 30 October, this immersive theatre-cum-dining experience explores the more macabre side of the author's stories. Guests will be served horrifying hors d'oeuvres, a baroque bird pie and a potentially perilous pudding, all while enjoying service from "the worst hosts ever".
For a more whimsical gastronomic exploration of the books, head to the capital's Aqua Shard, on The Shard's 31st floor, where, until 30 September, chefs Dale Osborne and Pip Sandrey will be whipping up an imaginative afternoon tea that draws on Dahl's fascination with food. Presented in a miniature version of Charlie’s great glass elevator and served on bespoke crockery depicting Blake's famous illustrations, offerings include a breakfast sandwich of fried eggs and bacon inspired by the BFG's visit to Buckingham Palace and to conclude, what else but a giant peach, made from meringue and filled with fresh peaches and cream? After all, as Dahl himself said: "A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men."