04 July 2016

New exhibition featuring work from Morpurgo's archive and principal illustrators

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books, introduces an exclusive exhibition drawn directly from Michael Morpurgo’s extensive archive which was donated to the Centre in 2015.

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain's best loved story-makers, and a long-time collaborator of Quentin Blake's.  This exhibition explores the secrets behind Michael's storytelling through his original drafts, adaptations, scripts and unpublished manuscripts. With content rich in historical research, creativity and poignant prose, this exhibition showcases the processes behind some of the most loved titles in modern children's books.

A handwritten draft of War Horse is on display for the first time, showing how the story evolved from first draft to publication of the book, to adaptation for the National Theatre and Steven Spielberg film scripts. Also on show are 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.

Included in the exhibition is artwork from some of the many illustrators who have contributed to Michael's books.  Quentin Blake has produced artwork for several of Michael's anthologies of poetry, some of which are on show. 'Because a Fire Was in My Head' (2001) and 'Cock Crow' (2005) are two of these, accompanied by beautifully evovative artwork for the Christmas story 'On Angel Wings'.  There is a tantalising glimpse of a new title 'Didn't we Have a Lovely Time' (due for publication in late 2016) in support of Farms for City Chlldren, the charity which Michael and Claire Morpurgo founded over forty years ago.

  

Links:

Visit the Seven Stories website for full details and opening hours