"I'm so excited about the prospect of this production of Friend or Foe. I can't wait to see it on the stage. There are some great songs, and the adaptation is both inventive and inspired. It's been a book, a film, a play, and now a musical. How wonderful and lucky is that!"
Michael Morpurgo, September 2013
Michael Morpurgo: A Life in Books
Michael Morpurgo is a master storyteller. From early in adult life as a newly qualified teacher, he recognised a personal gift for connecting with the thoughts and feelings of young listeners, an art subsequently developed during a long and successful writing career. To date he has penned over 120 books, frequently working in collaboration with famous illustrators such as Quentin Blake and Michael Foreman, and held the coveted post of Children’s Laureate between 2003 and 2005. Some of his best known works are ‘The Wreck of the Zanzibar’ winner of the Whitbread Children’s Book award in 1995, ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ and ‘War Horse’. War Horse was staged to great acclaim in the West End by the National Theatre in association with Handspring Puppet Company, and was also adapted as a 2011 British film directed by Steven Spielberg.
Away from writing, Michael, with his wife Clare, established the charity Farms for City Children in 1976, with the aim of providing children from inner city areas with experience of the countryside. To date around 85.000 children have taken part in the scheme, each spending a week at one of three farms in Devon, Pembrokeshire and Gloucestershire, doing purposeful farmyard work.
Michael Morpurgo was awarded an MBE for his services to literature on 17th June 2006.
Michael is wholly supportive of this musical adaptation of Friend or Foe. His brief, having listened to the music, is to create a show with the energy and verve of ‘Matilda’. We won’t disappoint him.
Photographs by Richard Cannon