Roald Dahl

99 Days out for the family: See a show 90-99

Catch the last three dates in Birmingham Hippodromes's Six Summer Saturdays free programme of city-centre events, which runs until 13 August. Performances include street theatre, interactive brass bands, circus acts and acrobatics, as well as comedy and upside down painting (

Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Theatre is on a roll with Roald at the moment. The RSC's Matilda has just received a gong at the Critics' Circle Awards, the presenter fulsomely declaring it to be the best new British musical that he had witnessed in 27 years of reviewing. But this new stage version of some of the author's aimed-at-adults Tales of the Unexpected at the Lyric Hammersmith strikes me as more than a couple of shudders short of the full Dahl. I have only two problems with it. I hate the stories themselves and I find the theatrical adaptation of them largely spurious in the chills department.

The Gruffalo, Garrick Theatre, London

In the 10 years since it was published, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (story) and Axel Scheffler (pictures) has become a much-loved classic, proving that big furry creatures who roar can be kind at heart, and a mouse may look at a monster, just as a cat may look at a king.

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The Diary: Roald Dahl; Marina Lewycka; Eva Mendes; Charlotte Rampling;

It sounds unlikely, but the late children's author Roald Dahl once received a death threat, according to his daughter, Lucy. She recalls returning from the theatre to her childhood home in Oxfordshire with her father, when her brother Theo picked up the anonymous, threatening phone call. Her father called the police immediately, but treated it "like a game", so as not to scare his children. "I really have no idea or recollection of its source. I do not remember being frightened," she adds. Speaking about the annual Roald Dahl Funny Prize, whose winners this year were Louise Rennison and Louise Yates, Dahl also revealed that she is working on a TV show, Nuclear Family, to be produced by NBC and Working Title, which will be based on her experiences as a mother of seven at the age of 32 (her husband had five children and she had two). "I got the idea when I was going through my stepson's backpack one day. It's a truthful, modern-day version of The Brady Bunch." It will include sex, drugs and plenty of teen spirit.

Storyteller: The Life Of Roald Dahl, By Donald Sturrock

A mere 16 years ago, Jeremy Treglown wrote a well-reviewed biography of Roald Dahl. Yet Dahl's daughter Ophelia asked Donald Sturrock to do the job again – fulfilling a task her father had assigned her: to write his life story or appoint someone else. In a 2002 interview, Ophelia said Treglown's book portrayed her father as "a difficult, demanding, unpleasant old bugger... it didn't show his funny, kind side." This time the family, which granted access to letters and papers, also did not interfere. They asked only that Sturrock conveyed the man that he knew and liked. He has succeeded.