The Story Museum, Oxford

 

storymuseum

Story Wheel

 

The Story Museum recently opened in Oxford with the aim of showing how important stories are. At the moment it is still a work in progress with one exhibition (26 Characters) and different events going on.

On the day we went there was a Roald Dahl event, where Anthony Pedley, who played the BFG in the original stage production, performed a one-man show reading extracts from the book and acting out scenes with a Sophie puppet, bottles of frobscottle and whizzpopping sound effects. It was performed a large studio which at first seemed drab and uninspiring, but with just one small corner being used, laid out with two short rows of chairs and a rug for children, the show had an intimate feel and Pedley kept the audience spellbound with his performance.

Dr Jekyll's lab

Dr Jekyll’s lab

The 26 Characters exhibition is running until the 2nd November, and features scenes from stories chosen by 26 children’s authors, with photos of those authors dressed as their favourite characters. Each exhibit is assigned to a letter of the alphabet, but this is slightly confusing as there seems to be no connection between the stories and authors and the letters, and they aren’t always in alphabetical order.

The exhibits are varied and many of them can be entered or touched. Our favourite was the wood in Lord of the Rings, where we had fun putting on the ring and “disappearing.” Entering Narnia was a magical experience and Malorie Blackman made an impressive wicked witch from Oz.

andrewname

There was also a dressing up room, with a long rail of clothes for children (and adults) to use to become their own characters, and once they are dressed up they can slot words into a board to name their character and be announced as they sit on a throne. A story wheel in the middle of one of the rooms encourages people to make up stories, spinning it three times to find a character, place and theme.

The exhibition is aimed at children, but there were unaccompanied adults clearly enjoying themselves too. Entrance costs £7.50 for adults (£5.00 concessions) and £5.00 for children. On their website you can find details of forthcoming events for adults and children.

 

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