Roald’s Marvellous Musicals

At the age of about eight, I was completely obsessed with Roald Dahl’s Matilda. I’m sure I can’t have been the only hopeful child to spend hours trying to move things with my eyes after reading it (I hope not anyway..!). As a bookish heroine who spent the majority of her time in the library, Matilda is probably partly to blame for what I ended up doing later (maybe along with Hermione Granger). I’ve been reminded about Matilda in the last few days, as the book was apparently published thirty years ago this October, and Penguin will be printing new covers featuring Quentin Blake’s illustrations of what Matilda might be like at 30. The fact that it was Roald Dahl day last week gave me even more excuse to revisit Dahl’s works. I’ve lined up a few Dahl-related items at MusiCB3 to show off on the blog today…

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Wandering through the stacks, I came across several of the musicals commissioned by the Roald Dahl Foundation, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Probably the most recent Dahl musical, however, is Tim Minchin‘s take on Matilda (A2013.21).

There are more Dahl adaptations to be found amongst the borrowable music on South Front. A Question of Taste (M260.a.95.416) is an opera by William Schuman based on one of Dahl’s short stories, Taste (if you like sinister stories with a sting in the tail, I recommend Dahl’s collections of short stories for adults!). The Little Red Riding Hood Songbook (M270.a.95.36) is a collection of Paul Patterson‘s settings for narrator, SSAA chorus and piano of words inspired by Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. And finally, we have Martin Butler‘s Dirty Beasts – three settings of verses by Roald Dahl for speaker, piano, and wind quintet (M290.a.95.309).

KC

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