Taika Waititi Roald Dahl

Taika Waititi and Friends Read Roald Dahl for Charity

Taika Waititi has brought together a glittering roster of Hollywood A-listers, including Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch, have come together remotely to read, over 10 episodes, the whole of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. Produced by Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly, and hosted by Oscar-winning actor/writer/director Taika Waititi, the epic fun-filled reading has been put together to raise money for Partners in Health.

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In our final presentation from our partnership with Cardiff University’s Roald Dahl Conference 2016, Željka Flegar explores the intricate ways in which Dahl played with and championed childlike language, and how it made him one of the most famous and adored writers for children for generation after generation.

This piece is a part of Wales Arts Review’s collection, Roald Dahl | A Retrospective. Click the link to enjoy other articles in out series celebrating the life, career, and impact of Welsh writer Roald Dahl known for so many incredible works!

It is nearly impossible to go through one’s childhood without experiencing Roald Dahl’s work in one form or another. Now, over 100 years after his birth, Dahl’s stories have been passed from generation to generation. From the whimsy of Willy Wonka to the strength and intelligence of Matilda, many of Dahl’s characters have become iconic in British culture and worldwide. But what is it about Dahl’s writing that is so impactful that it retains popularity for decades after his death?

These articles explore many facets of Dahl’s work and its adaptations on the screen, the stage, and all manner of other formats. They range from translation of his work to his use of the cautionary tale and villain archetypes. These demonstrate the influences he drew upon as well as the influence he had on others. Finally, we explore the way Dahl’s work connects with children, and how that spark of magic which draws in young readers is rooted in the language itself.