Saturday, 25th October 2014
It is rather unusual for a children’s author to fill his books with war and violence, but for beloved writer Michael Morpurgo, conflict became the common thread in his creations.
He told CNN in an interview that aired on Thursday,
“I care about war because I’m a war child. I was born in ‘43 and grew up with the Second World War, the damage that had wrought on people and societies and families and buildings… and I’ve played in bomb sites. I grew up with all that world of war around me,”
His best-selling novel-turned-blockbuster and stage play War Horse, which is about the First World War, only became a phenomenon 25 years after the book was written in 1982.
“The National Theatre picked it up really because Tom Morris discovered my book. In fact, his mother said one day, ‘Tom, you should read this book. It’s quite good’. And luckily he listened to his mother, made the play,”
The First World War is also the subject of his latest novel, Listen to the Moon, a powerful journey based on the sinking of the American civilian liner the Lusitania.
“There were 1,200 people drowned on the Lusitania in May 1915 after Germany boat put a torpedo in her side. She sank in 18 minutes; the Titanic took three hours. The loss of life was really terrible.”
The award-winning English writer explained that while he does just write for himself, his ultimate goal
“is to try to tell stories that have some kind of universality, that they touch the lives of older people and parents and children at the same time.”
Over five million people have now seen War Horse on stage worldwide.
“It’s been on in Germany for a year, in Berlin and London at the same time, about this war that happened 100 years ago. And to me, that is the most moving thing. If there’s any justification for writing any of my stories, it’s that, that we are listening to the story about reconciliation and these two capitals, where these people came together and did this appalling thing.”
Watch the interview online at www.amanpour.blogs.cnn.com
Friday, 24th October 2014
Angels and Urchins are offering the chance for one lucky child to bring Michael Morpurgo into their school for an author visit! This is an experience the children will never forget!
To enter you must buy a ticket to the Listen to the Moon event at the Bush Theatre on 28th October at 12.45. Tickets are £4 and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
The winner will be drawn out of a hat and you have to be at the event in order to claim the prize. You have to be in it, to win it.
The show consists of extracts from Listen to the Moon read by actress Natalie Walter together with lots of fascinating WW1 background on how the novel came to be.
There are 100 tickets up for grabs and one of them is the golden one. So you have every chance to win.
Book your tickets here at www.bushtheatre.co.uk
See you at the show, and fingers crossed it could be you!
Monday, 20th October 2014
Photo: Alex Rumford for the National Theatre
Michael Morpurgo joined Joey, the life-size horse puppet and star of the National Theatre’s production of War Horse, to visit the poppies installation at the Tower of London on Sunday 19 October. Joey walked amongst the poppies and Michael Morpurgo planted a poppy before reading the Roll of Honour.
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is a major art installation at the Tower of London, marking one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies will progressively fill the Tower’s famous moat over the summer. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war.
Each of the poppies is available to buy online for £25 (+p&p) with 10% of profits and all net proceeds being donated to six service charities.
Throughout the installation period (05 August to 11 November) at twilight, you can witness from Tower Hill terrace the names of 180 serving military killed during the First World War being read out in a roll of honour. This is followed by the ‘Last Post’ bugle call played by a single bugler.
For more information on Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, please visit www.poppies.hrp.org.uk
For further information about War Horse www.warhorseonstage.com
Friday, 10th October 2014
A century on from the First World War, National Youth Theatre stage a stunning adaptation of Private Peaceful, based on the best-selling novel by Michael Morpurgo.
Inspired by the many soldiers court-martialled and shot for cowardice during the Great War, this is Simon Reade’s rarely-performed ensemble version of the award-winning book. This compelling love story and touching account of the First World War is not to be missed!
Michael Morpurgo drops into rehearsals at the Ambassador Theatre.
Book exclusive £15 tickets to see Private Peaceful during its October run by using code HARPERCOLLINS online at www.nyt.org.uk or by calling 08448 112334.