Writer Michael Morpurgo’s warfare masterpiece Friend Or Foe has been confirmed for Blackpool Grand Theatre just as the renowned author has picked up his third Red House Children’s Book Award.
Grand Theatre general manager and chief executive, Neil Thomson, said: “We are very excited to announce the return of Scamp Theatre, in association with Watford Palace Theatre, with another stunning stage adaptation from Michael Morpurgo’s incredible body of work.
“Private Peaceful was a huge success earlier this year and so we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to bring Friend Or Foe, especially with its close links to the National Curriculum.
“Congratulations to Michael on his recent win, it is extremely well deserved.”
The Red House Children’s Book Award is voted for solely by young readers from a shortlist drawn up by children’s book groups across Britain. The award is recognised by authors, parents and librarians as a key indicator of which books are popular with children and Michael is the first author to win this coveted award three times.
The former Children’s Laureate was presented the 2011 prize for Shadow – the story of a boy from Afghanistan who is befriended by a dog when he is fleeing the horror of war.
Michael has previously won the award for Kensuke’s Kingdom and Private Peaceful.
Michael said of his recent triumph: “Winning awards is always wonderful and particularly wonderful when it’s the Red House Children’s Book Award – which is voted for by children.
“Winning this award, voted for by so many readers, means such a lot.”
Over 150,000 votes were cast by children and young adults all over the UK, both online and through ballots, and thousands of children from schools, libraries and nurseries spent 18 months reading more than 1,000 titles to find the shortlisted books.
Previous winners of the award include JK Rowling, Robert Swindells, Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson.
Friend Or Foe is set at the height of the Second World War, two young boys, David and Tucky prepare to be evacuated from London.
After settling into their new life in the countryside with Mr Reynolds and his wife Ann, they feel like the war is a long way away from their old lives in the city.
Then one night the skyline of the moor is lit up with gun flashes, and the distant crump of bombing miles away brings the war back to them and shatters their newfound peace.
When a German bomber crashes, the boys feel they should hate the airmen inside.
But then one of them saves David’s life.
Friend Or Foe is at Blackpool Grand Theatre on Friday November 11 at 2 and 7.30pm.