Join us on a musical sleigh ride through stories with our Christmas show Jingle’s Magic Sleighbook now

26 Characters exhibition

Flora Sutton peeks into Anansi's basket of stories.

celebrating childhood story heroes

Saturday 5 April 2014 – Sunday 22 February 2015


This exhibition has now closed – click here to read an evaluation report on this exhibition

Many of Britain’s best loved writers and storytellers have transformed themselves into the characters they most loved as children in our exciting new, interactive photographic exhibition.

Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman metamorphoses into the Wicked Witch of the West. Terry Pratchett achieves outlaw status as Just William. And Neil Gaiman gets stripey as a well-known woodland creature. Other authors taking part include Julia Donaldson, Anthony HorowitzKevin Crossley-Holland, Jamila GavinCharlie HigsonShirley HughesTerry JonesGeraldine McCaughreanMichael MorpurgoTerry PratchettFrancesca Simon and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Award-winning celebrity photographer Cambridge Jones  has captured a gallery of rogues and rascals, wizards, witches and wild things, which unfolds through the Story Museum’s atmospheric and unfinished buildings.

Isidore and Aphra Hiscock get lost in Middle Earth. Pic: Antony Moore for the Oxford Times

Isidore and Aphra Hiscock get lost in Middle Earth. Pic: Antony Moore for the Oxford Times

exploring stories

Explore some intriguing rough spaces – literally full of character – brought to life by designers who include Michael Pickwoad (Doctor Who) and Alix Harwood (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Hugo, Thor). Hunt for story extracts, and discover the reasons behind the authors’ choices.

See your favourite fabulists as you’ve never seen them before and meet a cast of characters, from Anansi to Boromir and all the way to Oz.

exhibition highlights

– See portraits hung in interactive themed spaces

– Listen to story extracts recorded by award-winning actors Olivia Colman and Christopher Eccleston

– Hear new stories specially created by Jamila Gavin, Geraldine McCaughrean, Kevin Crossley-Holland and Alex Kanefsky

– Listen to authors talking about their choice of hero and why they love stories (you can also hear them online here)

– Browse through everybody’s books and discover more in our comfortable library

– Dress up and have your photo taken for our digital gallery

– Make friends with our talking throne

Visitor Clement sits on the talking throne

Visitor Clement sits on the talking throne

who will you be?

Dress up as your own favourite, and have your portrait taken for our online gallery.