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By Open Air Theatre
This month celebrates Michael Morpurgo and his influence on children’s literature. During the week commencing 21 March, the focus is on his novels about animals, and specifically the relationship between animals and humans – including Running Wild.
Michael is unendingly passionate about exploring how animals interact with humans; how the relationship between humans and the helpless creatures that depend on them can be cruel and exploitative, but also sometimes filled with mutual tenderness. Once, Michael witnessed a boy talking to a horse so intently and with such affection that he found himself greatly touched: this led him to write his much-acclaimed and much-loved bestseller, War Horse. It is with a glint in his eye that Michael will talk about his very favourite animal, the elephant: a love that arose from his mother reading Rudyard Kipling’s The Elephant Child to him when he was a boy.
Running Wild is a moving and incredible tale, re-imagined from a real-life story, of a boy who was rescued by an elephant who sensed the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. An ardent advocate for the rights of the animal and for the wisdom they can share with us, Michael always shows us animals as beautiful, sensitive creatures, who remain with us a long time after closing the book.