Get A Golden Ticket For Exhibition At The Roald Dahl Museum

By Nicola Tann | 16 January 2006
Shows a photograph of an old man and a young boy standing in a snowy field.

Charlie & Grandpa Jo - film still from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. © 2005 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, wouldn’t necessarily be the first port of call should you want to see original blockbuster movie memorabilia.

But an exhibition running until mid May 2006 at the Roald Dahl Museum provides a rare insight into the making of Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and has been exciting children and grown-ups alike.

Working in collaboration with Warner Bros., the museum has created From Page to Screen, an exhibition featuring examples of Dahl’s original drafts, copies of Tim Burton’s original concept drawings for costume and set ideas, along with stills from the movie itself.

Shows an illustration of an old man and a young boy

Charlie & Grandpa Jo - concept drawing by Tim Burton.© 2005 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

“We thought it would be really interesting for people to see the whole process from before it even became a book,” said Liz Whittingham, Collections Manager and Archivist at the museum.

“And from those early drafts of ‘Charlie’s Chocolate Boy’ and ‘Here Comes Charlie’, visitors can trace the origins of the book and then follow it into Tim Burton’s film making process, through his original drawings, and onto the stills from the film.”

The creative development of the town and the factory are also shown with original set drawings and architectural blueprints, used for the life-size structures that were made at Pinewood Studios for filming. Really getting into the spirit of it all, the museum had a real set of wrought iron gates made for their own courtyard from the blueprints of the factory gates in the film.

Shows a bench decorated as a crocodile next to a model of a huge Wonka bar of chocolate

Courtesy of Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

There are also many original props from the movie including a pair of goggles worn in the Wonkavision studio and a case of Wonka Chocolate bars. Posters from the film bearing the words ‘Dear People of the World, I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five lucky children into my factory…,’ are also included.

Luckily the museum has decided to be less selective than Mr Wonka - allowing as many children into the exhibition as they can fit - and it’s gone down a storm.

“The interactive elements of the exhibition have been really popular,” said Isabelle Reynolds, Marketing Officer. “We have got a dressing up box where the children can dress themselves up as Oompa Loompas, even Willy Wonka himself. We started with only a few costumes but it proved so popular that we brought more in. The children found it really engaging.”

Shows a mother and her daughter inspecting objects on a table

Courtesy of Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

And if getting dressed up has whet their creative appetites, the children can enter monthly drawing competitions designing their own chocolate bars.

“The children get straight into it,” said Amelia Foster, Museum Director. “You can see them everywhere with their coloured pencils, scribbling away, taking inspiration straight from the exhibition.”

Shows the Renaissance in the Regions logo.

Nicola Tann is the 24 Hour Museum Renaissance Student Writer for Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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