Cardiff Castle to Host LEGO® Roald Dahl Hero for Roald Dahl Day – 13 September 2017
SIX favourite Roald Dahl child heroes are poised to appear, in stunning locations across the UK, in the form of unique LEGO® brick builds to mark Roald Dahl Day - the global celebration of the world’s number one storyteller. Roald Dahl Day happens annually, on and around 13 September, the author’s birthday.
In partnership with the Roald Dahl Literature Estate, Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, Literature Wales is delighted to announce that Cardiff Castle will be playing host to James, the adventurous hero of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl’s first novel for children. Cardiff is, of course, Roald Dahl’s birthplace and hosted a number of events to celebrate Roald Dahl 100 in 2016, which included its transformation into the ‘City of the Unexpected’ in September.
The LEGO® build of James will be officially unveiled on Roald Dahl Day itself – 13 September. He is composed of 30,200 bricks and took 160 hours to construct. To coincide with James’ big reveal, Literature Wales has organised a workshop for local school children with Bardd Plant Cymru, Casia Wiliam. The children will take inspiration from Roald Dahl’s Heroes in order to compose their own stories.
James will remain at Cardiff Castle for 2 months. Cardiff Castle is open between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm seven days a week, and entry fees apply. Visitors are encouraged to share their pictures with James using #LegoJames, #RoaldDahlDay and #DiwrnodDahl on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
James and his fellow LEGO® Roald Dahl heroes are sure to be a highlight of Roald Dahl Day 2017, which this year shines the spotlight onto the iconic child heroes created by Roald Dahl. The young heroes of his stories are distinct individuals but they are united by a spirit of healthy rebellion and resilience. Roald Dahl was, throughout his career, a champion for children. Which is YOUR Favourite Roald Dahl HERO?
The six Roald Dahl character brick builds have been created by Duncan Titmarsh - the UK’s only certified LEGO® professional builder - and his team at the Bright Bricks workshop in Bordon, Hampshire.
Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “We’re so glad to be welcoming James – all 30,200 bricks of him – to Cardiff this fall. We hope that LEGO® James will encourage visitors to read Dahl’s adventurous books, fall in love with his child heroes, and be inspired to create their own, brick by brick, word by word.”
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “I am personally delighted that organisers have chosen Cardiff Castle as the location for the LEGO statue of James because James and the Giant Peach was my favourite Roald Dahl book as a child. Dahl is arguably the most famous person to have been born in Cardiff and as attendance at last year’s City of the Unexpected celebrations clearly demonstrated, his popularity still goes from strength to strength. How appropriate that the city of his birth features so prominently in a national day celebrating the genius of Roald Dahl.”
Bernie Hall from Roald Dahl’s Literary Estate says: “We are so thrilled that James will be making his way to Cardiff Castle. It’s the perfect location for him, in order to mark once again the strong connections between Roald Dahl and Wales, and a wonderful way to celebrate James and all Roald Dahl’s amazing child heroes this Roald Dahl Day.”
The full list of six LEGO® Roald Dahl Hero brick builds and their locations are:
- Billy - intrepid hero of Billy and the Minpins, Roald Dahl’s very last book
- At the Eden Project in Cornwall.
- Charlie – good-hearted hero of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- At Manchester Central Library.
- George – maverick inventor hero of George’s Marvellous Medicine
- At Nottingham Railway Station.
- James – adventurous hero of James and the Giant Peach
- At Cardiff Castle.
- Matilda – anarchic heroine of the eponymous Matilda
- At the foyer of the Cambridge Theatre in London, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda the Musical.
- Sophie – brave heroine of The BFG
- At the National Trust’s Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland.
Literature Wales is the national company for the development of literature in Wales. It believes that literature belongs to everybody and can be found everywhere. The company’s various projects and activities includes Wales Book of the Year, National Poet of Wales, Bardd Plant Cymru and Young People’s Laureate Wales, Literary Tourism activities, Writers on Tour funding scheme, creative writing courses at Tŷ Newydd, Services for Writers (including Writers’ Bursaries and Mentoring), and Young People’s Writing Squads.
Literature Wales is a registered charity, (number 1146560) and works with the support of Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government. Lleucu Siencyn is the Chief Executive.
Literature Wales, Glyn Jones Centre, Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff, CF10 5AL
About Roald Dahl and His Legacy
Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories.
He remains the World’s No.1 storyteller.
Born in Cardiff of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl (1916–1990) joined the RAF at the age of 23 and began writing, initially for adults, after being injured in a plane crash during WW2.
Sitting in a hut at the bottom of his garden, surrounded by odd bits and pieces such as a suitcase (used as a footrest), his own hipbone (which he’d had replaced) and a heavy ball of metal foil (made from years’ worth of chocolate wrappers), he went on to write some of the world’s best-loved children’s stories. His first children’s story, James and the Giant Peach, was published in 1961, was a hit and every subsequent book became a best-seller.
Today, his stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, he has sold more than 250 million books. Many of these stories have also been adapted for stage and screen, including the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wes Anderson’s acclaimed Fantastic Mr Fox, Steven Spielberg’s spectacular adaptation of The BFG, the multi-award winning Matilda The Musical from the RSC with music by Tim Minchin and the stage musical production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, currently playing to sell-out audiences on Broadway.
Roald Dahl Day is the biggest author-led cultural moment globally - and is growing annually. In a poll commissioned by Canon in May 2017, Roald Dahl was voted the Greatest Storyteller of All Time. In June 2017, three books by Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Matilda – topped a poll commissioned by the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals to find the UK’s favourite children’s book. In a 2015 Sainsbury’s poll to mark World Book Day - and find 50 books every child should read by the age of 16 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the most recommended book and Roald Dahl was the most recommended children’s author.
Roald Dahl said, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
We believe in doing good things. That’s why ten percent of all Roald Dahl income* goes to our charity partners. We have supported causes including: specialist children’s nurses, grants for families in need, and educational outreach programmes.
Find out more at roalddahl.com.
The Roald Dahl Charitable Trust is a registered UK charity (no. 1119330).
All author payments and royalty income net of third party commissions.
“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the
greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl, BILLY AND THE MINPINS
#RoaldDahlDay #RoaldDahlHeroes #believeinmagic