How Roald Dahl inspired me…

Roald Dahl Day is on 13th September and 2016 marks 100 years since his birth!

Now is a great time to inspire yet another generation of children with the wonders of Roald Dahl’s work. Our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Enormous Crocodile dance workshops are currently ‘flying off the shelf’! 

We asked a few of our performers to tell us how Dahl inspires them. Here is what they said...

Helen as Mrs Pratchett

Helen as Mrs Pratchett

Helen Colby

Helen Colby

Helen Colby

...Helen is currently playing Mrs Pratchett in the musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 

I have always been a drawn towards weird and wonderful stories. No surprises that Roald Dahl’s work completely and utterly gripped me as a kid. It fed my wild imagination with delicious words, exciting characters and crazy ideas - I loved it. The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were my faves!

To now be part of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End is simply brilliant. It’s tapped into my inner kid and made me appreciate Dahl’s story telling on a whole other level. I re-read ‘Charlie’ just before I started rehearsals. What I love most about our production is how beautifully it’s been adapted into a musical from the book - it really captures the essence of the original story. It’s a show with so much heart and I’m very proud to be a part of it.

As well as being a performer, I also work a lot with kids in the performing arts. I’m a big fan of igniting imaginations through story telling - it’s a buzz for me - hence why I enjoy working for West End in Schools so much. Leaving a school with hundreds of little happy, inspired and excited faces from a West End in Schools workshop is just the best!
                           Marc Antolin

                           Marc Antolin

Marc Antolin

Marc was involved in creating the stage version of Matilda and performed it in the West End. 

I remember joining the local library and the first book I took out was The Twits. Monkeys had always been my favourite animal and them being in this story solidified that in my mischievous child brain.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Matilda were also staples in my reading pile growing up. I loved how they championed young children and the underdog. The film adaptations of these stories and characters I had envisioned through Dahl’s wonderfully descriptive writing made me a huge fan of Dahl’s work.

Revisiting these stories as an adult opened me up to so much more in Dahl’s writing – nuances that children wouldn’t necessarily notice. There is so much heart in the tales and humour for both children and adults. The dark humour for the adults, and the silly burp and fart humour for children. This was evident every night performing Matilda because different age groups would laugh at different bits.

Dennis Kelly who adapted the script for the stage kept true to Dahl’s style and it was an incredible thing to be a part of making these characters - that I had grown up with - come to life on stage.

Rachel Moran

Rachel Moran

Rachel Moran

Rachel performs in Matilda the Musical at the West End's Cambridge Theatre.

 

 

 

My first and favourite experience of Roald Dahl was James and the Giant Peach. But since being a part of Matilda the Musical in the Westend (and I’m not being biased at all, he, he!) my all-time favourite Roald Dahl has now got to be Matilda. Everything about it is clever and spikey, with a dark edge.

Dahl really shows off his creative imagination throughout the story of Matilda - which is truly excellent - and then bringing that to stage is magical, clever and just pure genius! I love being a part of this show as it is spectacular on so many levels.

Megan

Lingfield School's workshop with Michael Duke

Lingfield School's workshop with Michael Duke

Megan is one of the thousands of primary school children to have taken part in one of our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory dance workshops. Megan is in Year 3 at Lingfield School in Surrey. Here she shares a few thoughts about her Bringing Books to Life experience:

On Wednesday a man called Michael, from West End in Schools came to our school. He is a dancer in West End shows. First, we did some warm ups and then we got into groups. We tried to make a machine from Charlie and Chocolate Factory by acting. It was such fun! Next we learnt a dance and it was funny. Sadly it ended and we said goodbye.

To enquire further about our Bringing Books to Life workshops please click here.