26 Characters exhibition

26 Characters, Exhibitions, For everyone, Type of event

Saturday 5th April - Sunday 22nd February


Key facts


Full price: £7.50

Concessions: £5 (Under-18’s, full-time students, job-seekers, over-60s)

Family ticket (for a group of 4, including at least 1 child): £20

Children under one year, and companions of disabled visitors: Free

Age information

Recommended for age 4+

Opening hours

Mon: closed (including bank holidays)

Tues: 10am-5pm

Wed: 10am-5pm

Thurs: 10am-7pm


Sat: 10am-5pm

Sun: 11am-5pm

These opening times will change as of November 2014. Please see our opening hours page for more information.


Tickets can be booked at our Tickets Oxford page, or by phoning the ticket hotline at 01865 305305.

School holidays

April holiday: 5 April – 21 April
Late spring holiday: 24 May – 1 June
Summer holiday: 23 July – 2 September
October holiday: 25 October – 2 November

Visual story

Download the 26 Characters visual story

About the event

celebrating childhood story heroes

‘The whole exhibition is a love song to stories, a celebration of everything that makes stories great, and quite honestly, one of my favorite museum experiences ever.’ – Helen, visitor. Read her review.

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.

For interviews and other resources, click here.

Keep up to date on Facebook.

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.

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.

– 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)

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

– 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

  • Flora Sutton peeks into Anansi's basket of stories. Pic: Antony Moore for the Oxford Mail

    Flora Sutton peeks into Anansi’s basket of stories. Pic: Antony Moore for the Oxford Mail

who will you be?

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

Last entry 30 minutes before closing.

Please note: at peak times we may have to limit numbers and the length of your visit, for everyone’s comfort and enjoyment.
We recommend booking in advance.

Some sections of our building are unheated – on a cold day, dress for Narnia!

Find out more about our workshops for schools and groups.

26 Characters is supported by Arts Council England.

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