The V&A’s Museum of Childhood will present an exhibition dedicated to author Michael Morpurgo this Summer. 

Michael Morpurgo at Seven Stories, Newcastle Upon Tyne. (c) Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books. 

Running from the 22nd July until the 25th February 2018, Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories will examine the author’s life and career in this new and free exhibition.

At the centre of the exhibition, the museum announced that 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.

The display will showcase the notebooks and manuscripts that went on to 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).

Talking about the exhibition, the author said: “I value greatly this exhibition around my writing life, because it gives young people insights into the making of stories they may know and love, and gives them an understanding of how one writer tells his tales, which may well encourage them to feel that this storytelling is for them too, that we can all find our writing voice.”

Rhian Harris, V&A Museum of Childhood director, commented: “Michael’s writing has captivated the imaginations of millions of children and we are delighted to have an exhibition that will bring some of his most inspiring worlds to life.”

The exhibition will showcase a number of draft manuscripts, photographs, notebooks and correspondence that chronicle Michael’s creative process and writing career. It will also feature artwork on loan from some of Britain’s greatest illustrators, including Sir Quentin Blake, Patrick Benson and Michael Foreman.

For those who love War Horse, there will be a handwritten draft of the story, charting its history from first draft to publication of the book, to adaptation for the National Theatre and Steven Spielberg film scripts as well as props from the stage and film productions.

Other highlights of the exhibition will include: Replica shipwrecked boat, featured in Wreck of the Zanzibar (1995, Egmont), a multi-sensory sculpture of Billy the Kid (2002, Harper Collins) and 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.

Michael Morpurgo: A lifetime of in Stories will be on display at the V&A museum of Childhood from the 22nd July until the 25th February 2018. For more information visit:


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