Disheartened by the fact that I missed Cardiff’s “City of The Unexpected” in September, I decided to drag my boyfriend along to the Millennium Centre’s magical exhibition for a peek at the interactive journey.
Granted, we were the youngest people there without children, but this didn’t stop us from joining in with the spirit of things. Unfortunately there was no photography allowed inside the exhibition as people are encouraged to “experience the magic for themselves.” There was, however, no rule on writing about it! (I wouldn’t advise reading this if you’re planning on going and want the surprises).
Before we proceeded into the exhibition we were met by a friendly tour guide for the hour who set the family-friendly, interactive tone. A few questions were asked for the kids about Roald Dahl and some of his books before an audio recording was played welcoming us to the adventure. I volunteered to part the velvety red curtains by pulling a golden tassel and we all tentatively ventured inside to the dark…
We were in a darkened room surrounded by lit up cardboard boxes that presented various photographs/extracts/letters associated with Roald Dahl’s history and where he grew up. Both the tour guide and the audio recordings played overheard on a speaker began to guide us through the journey. We found ourselves in an old classroom with a blackboard and old fashioned style desks. If you lifted up the lid of the desks you would find various exhibits such as Dahl’s letters home from school and the yellow writing paper he used (yellow was his favourite colour).
We then proceeded into a sandy corridor and learnt about Dahl’s love of flying and his telegrams home. The exhibition also featured a room that made me feel like I was stepping into the heart of a forest at night time. This included a giant peach, pheasants from “Danny, The Champion of the World” and more letter extracts. I think my favourite part of the journey was trying to navigate through the upside down corridor featured in “The Twits” that led on to Matilda’s library. We found the BFG’s colourful dreams captured in glass jars, the inventing room filled with whoopee cushions and bubbling cauldrons and finally the glass elevator from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
The glass elevator sadly didn’t shoot us into the sky and let us fly across the city but it did lead to… the other end of the Millennium Centre and therefore the end of the exhibition. Perhaps a more family orientated adventure, “The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl” entertained us with a brief history of Dahl’s life and where he got most of his inspiration from. For a reader who grew up entertained and fascinated by Dahl’s books I found myself stepping inside a magical world for an hour that sparked the imagination and made me remember just quite how fantastical of an author he really was.