There is a delicious darkness to Roald Dahl's original book about a vile and dirty couple who are rotten to the core. You relish their horrid plots and laugh at their wickedness. I desperately wanted this adaptation to capture that spirit but the result is not good, patchy at best.
Friday 13 September 2013 is Roald Dahl Day. It falls on the anniversary of his birthday; he would have been ninety-eight. Celebrated today as one of the great British children's authors of the twentieth century, his work is remembered fondly as part of that period of life which is playful, carefree and unburdened by adult responsibility.
This loud and confident show ticks so many boxes and oozes confidence, a delicious night out for families - long live the magic of the real-life Willy Wonka: Roald Dahl.
University introduced me to writers I would never have read of my own accord. Sam Selvon, Angela Carter, Ballard etc etc. By now I was actively searching out writers. I loved Buk, so wanted to read Fante and Celine. McCarthy was a hero and Patrick DeWitt filled the gap that McCarthy's long-awaited next novel is sure to fill.
If a nine-year-old can easily think of examples off the top of her head, then it shouldn't be hard for an adult, who knows a little about children's literature or who has at least popped into the children's section of a bookshop or library recently, to find some.
Return to Oz shares a lot in common with the original 1939 Wizard of Oz. Apart from obviously being adaptations from the works of L. Frank Baum, both films are very dark in tone, are terrifying, and both were financial failures upon their release that have become beloved with age.
Nothing feels quite so bittersweet as remembering what it felt like to read as a child, when you'd nestle in somewhere safe and let your imagination u...
Since my last blog several correspondents have asked what the world of opera does to introduce more people to the art form. I can't speak for other co...
Sendak is not the only children's author who has become a firm favourite on the fit-to-burst shelves that line the walls of the living room, my home office and both my son's bedrooms. Here's a rundown of a few others whose books are at the risk of falling apart from overuse.
Today I was asked whether, given the choice, I would plug myself into a machine that guaranteed happiness for the rest of my life.
There was a bit of debate on Twitter this week, sparked by an article on Parentdish, about whether or not we should read our troopers the 'classics'.
Literature and art more generally, must in some way draw upon the historic in order to gain sustenance. And in a paradoxical way, children's literature is more capable of this than most.
I don't think it's wildly hyperbolic to suggest that musical theatre is generally regarded as the arse-end of all culture. Like the happy-go-lucky mongrel among a snooty pack of pedigrees, dragged on a leash by their oddball ringmaster, Andrew Lloyd Webber; they tend to get it wrong more times than they get it right.
The Weekend Papers It's nearly here again. It's a beautiful thing. The weekend. But already I can feel the first tinge of guilt wrapping its nail bit...