Do you remember the sense of awe you felt as a child from the magic of the unexpected, or from life’s general surprises? Your face lighting up and your eyes aglow as you saw the world’s wonders unfold before you? Imagine being able to experience that buzz almost daily, when you’re in your late twenties – that’s my work, guiding tours through The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl.
Seeing a child’s face as you explain that the giant sandal before them was Roald Dahl’s very own, or as you announce that this was his school report when he too was nine years old, or as you reveal a hidden message written on a sheet of his distinctive yellow paper, is an amazing thing – and a brilliant thing to share. It’s better still when the grown-ups lose themselves in the fun of it, too! I start all of my tours by asking the children to give me a new name, to start the unexpected-ness off early. My current personal favourites include Tomos Siomos Phil, Randolph Fuzzyfeet and Ehh...*Shrug*?. Let it never be said that the next generation’s imagination is on the wane.
This sense of wonder and limitless imagination stretches into the school workshops that we run alongside the main tours. Roald Dahl himself was no fan of stiff, stoic formal education – he once said that all British history lessons should be replaced by the history of the inventing of the most famous chocolate bars – so we run the workshops in the most fun way possible. Kindly check your boredom at the door before entering! From the three workshops we offer schools, my favourite has to be The Magic Finger Orchestra: we use an extract from The Magic Finger to get children thinking about the sounds instruments make, and making music that expresses emotion. Of course, this is also a chance for the children to make as much noise as physically possible, something they would never be allowed to do in a classroom. The tiniest element of mischief – now tell me, what could be more Dahlesque than that?
See more at: www.wmc.org.uk