One of Britain’s best-loved storytellers, Michael Morpurgo, will be celebrated in a new, free exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood opening in July. Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories will look at Morpurgo’s life and writing process as well as the lives he has created for some of his remarkable characters. Joey, the original life-size West End horse puppet from the National Theatre’s award-winning stage adaptation of War Horse , will be on display at the exhibition.
This unique exhibition will showcase the notebooks and manuscripts that have become the classics we know today, including War Horse (1982, Egmont), Private Peaceful (2003, Harper Collins), Kensuke’s Kingdom (1999, Egmont) and The Butterfly Lion (1996, Harper Collins).
The exhibition will display draft manuscripts, photographs, notebooks and correspondence that chronicle Michael’s creative process and writing career.
Artwork loaned by some of Britain’s greatest illustrators, including Sir Quentin Blake, Patrick Benson and Michael Foreman, will also be on display.
A handwritten draft of War Horse will be on display, showing how the story evolved from first draft to publication of the book, to adaptation for the National Theatre and Steven Spielberg film scripts. Props from stage and film including a goose puppet, on loan from the National Theatre, and a World War I painting that inspired War Horse , by war artist F. W. Reed will also be on show.
A replica of Michael’s creative caravan will be reconstructed, so that visitors can imagine, daydream and pen story ideas inspired by Michael’s beloved Devon.
Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s greatest living authors for children. His work spans 40 years and a career that has seen the publication of over 150 books for children including wide-ranging topics that explore historical events, natural history and the environment, adventure and family life.
Additional exhibition highlights include: A Replica shipwrecked boat, featured in Wreck of the Zanzibar (1995, Egmont). A multi-sensory sculpture of Billy the Kid (2002, Harper Collins). A playful under 5 area inspired by Mudpuddle Farm Series (Harper Collins) and It’s a Dog’s Life (2004, Egmont) with dress up and props.
If you would like further information, visit the Museum of Childhood website here
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