The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl gets a royal visitor
Only about ten little oompa loompas–in-training were present during my tour, along with their grownups, meaning lots of opportunity to mull over the most-minpin-sized details. Once welcomed by the guide, visitors are taken through a series of rooms, each one dedicated to a different aspect of Roald Dahl’s life- complete with a booming voiceover that regularly interrupted to warn children away from whizz-popping adults.
Scattered throughout we discovered hidden manuscripts, photos and letters which all give an insight into Roald Dahl’s life and his inspirations. But this is no ordinary museum. Before crawling through sand and scattered plane parts into a flittering dark forest, we lifted school desk lids to reveal letters from Roald Dahl as a boy. A topsy-turvy corridor, where it was hard to tell up from down, led us towards the idea which sparked Matilda; and as one, everyone on the tour pressed their fingers to their temples, concentrated hard and attempted to move things with their eyes. A few seemed very well practised, and I suspect the smaller ones may be diligently exercising their telekinetic powers when the lights are supposed to be off and bedtime has come.
Giant Country is reached by means of a trumpet, which caused an eruption of giggles and as for The Inventing Room, well that shall remain a splendiferous secret, but suffice is to say it allows everybody to take part in the wackier side of Roald Dahl and had visitors hanging from the ceiling, throwing themselves at walls and laughing over gobblefunk.
The tour can perhaps be summed up by the final words which echoed as left the Wondercrump world, ‘Those who do not believe in magic will never find it . . .’ or alternatively 5 out of 5 Giant Whizz-Pops.
In the photograph: HRH Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall is joined by Willy Wonka (Jonathan Slinger) and Miss Honey (Charlotte Scott) as well as Luke Kelly (MD of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson), Felicity Dahl (Roald Dahl’s wife).
(Photos courtesy of Victor Frankowski)
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