Story Museum reopens with star-studded spring programme

Easter fun for families from Saturday 5 April The Story Museum in Oxford gets off to a flying start this Easter – and a new chapter in its own story begins, after six months of building work.

Just in time for the Easter holidays, the Museum launches an exciting season of events for young and old, with the emphasis on fools, tricksters and mayhem. Its new spring programme guide is published today.

The programme is inspired by the Museum’s flagship exhibition 26 Characters (5 April – 2 November), which features Britain’s most iconic children’s authors photographed as their favourite childhood story heroes by acclaimed photographer Cambridge Jones.

Launch celebration

First up is a Story Explorer weekend (5 & 6 April) with crafts, face-painting, stories, music and dressing up to celebrate the exhibition’s launch. Storyteller Alex Kanefsky brings the tale of Anansi spider to life and visitors can meet a talking throne, dress up and be part of an online gallery specially created for the exhibition.

Author events with an enchanting theme

Famous writers will be visiting The Story Museum in April to give workshops, readings and previews of their new books for audiences of all ages. Jamila Gavin (author of the award-winning Coram Boy), tells her new tale of Hanuman the Monkey God (11 April). Comics illustrator, writer (and The Story Museum’s new artist in residence) Neill Cameron (The Phoenix Comic) brings the story of Till Eulenspiegel to life by drawing it as it’s being told (15 April). Other featured authors include Mini Grey (Biscuit Bear, The Pea and the Princess) celebrating her new book Hermelin The Detective Mouse (26 April).

Shows and performance storytelling

Acclaimed storytellers weave their magic. Meet Roald Dahl with actor Anthony Pedley (17 April); celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday and Shakespeare’s cleverest, naughtiest, most mischievous trickster with a new production: Puck Plays the Fool from performance company We Are Butterfly (23 April). Enjoy brand new 26 Characters-inspired stories conjured up before your very eyes by Storytelling Laureate Katrice Horsley (12 April). The Story Museum’s Easter programme also includes shows from Jan Blake, ‘one of the world’s greatest storytellers’ (19 April)

Reading Allowed

Take part in a free live reading of Treasure Island with Philip Pullman. The acclaimed author kicks off the first of the Museum’s new series.

Story Collector events

The Museum’s own Story Collector will guide children through the world of stories evoked by 26 Characters, including The Owl and the Pussycat and Till Eulenspiegel.

Specially for nippersnappers

Children aged three and under are treated to an ABC of messy play, songs and stories every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning throughout the season. And the ever popular Nick Cope (former front man of The Candyskins) returns for more about the things children are really interested in (30 April).

Wonder Walks ?

A playful family walkabout of historic Oxford, city of stories with Story Museum tour guides who will explore the stories behind The Hobbit, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, complete with a treasure bag full of surprises (every Sunday from 27 April).

Relaxed visits

People with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders have the chance to experience 26 Characters with families and carers in a more relaxed environment on the last Sunday morning of every month. Free to all participants and their families.

Sat 5 – Sun 6 April             Story Explorer weekend. All ages.

Tue 8 April                           Alex Kanefsky tells the story of Anansi spider.

Wed 9 & Fri 18 April         Museum Story Collector: The Owl and the Pussycat.

Thu 10 April                        Museum Story Collector: Till Eulenspiegel.

Fri 11 April                           26 Characters author event: Jamila Gavin.

Sat 12 April                          26 Characters author events: National Storytelling Laureate Katrice Horsley.

Sun 13 April                        Reading Allowed! the opening chapters of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island read aloud with Philip Pullman. All ages.

Tue 15 April                        26 Characters author event: Neill Cameron.

Wed 16 April                      Museum Story Collector, Hanuman the Monkey God.

Thu 17 April                        Anthony Pedley with Roald Dahl treats.

Sat 19 April                          Springtime with the Museum Story Collector.

Performance storytelling from Jan Blake.

Wed 23 April                      Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with Puck Plays the Fool from performance company We Are Butterfly, followed by post-show talk. Age 6+.

Sat 26 April                          Author event with Mini Grey.

Sun 27 April                        Wonder Walk

Reading Allowed (Treasure Island continues)

Relaxed visit:  free visit of 26 Characters for those with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders

Wed 30 April                      Nick Cope’s Songbook

All events take place at The Story Museum, Pembroke Street, Oxford OX2 7BB. For ticket prices and event info visit www.storymuseum.org.uk/events

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