Themes - Legends
As a boy, Michael’s mother read stories to him, instilling in him as he puts it, a love for “the music of words”. Although this passion nearly died through his school years (an often unpleasant time for Michael that lives on in the story of The Butterfly Lion), listening to his university professor reading aloud the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight brought it flooding back, and it has remained since. While being an ardent lover of folk tales and legends, Michael believes that old stories can feel old, and that they can only pass on through the years by being retold in new ways: from this need to re-make ancient tales were born titles such as Beowulf and Outlaw. But sometimes it is more than a fresh voice that is needed: sometimes it’s a voice itself. While most children know the story of Pinocchio, few have read Carlo Collodi’s original text, which silences the main character and stages a tale designed to wag its finger at young children who might be inclined to misbehave – an inclination Michael himself sees as irrepressible! His own reinterpretation of Pinocchio gives the famous puppet his voice back, in all its cheeky and hilarious glory.