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Michael Morpurgo reads The Butterfly Lion

We are delighted to share an exclusive series of videos with Michael Morpurgo reading two chapters of his best-selling novel The Butterfly Lion for us each day this week. These readings are available to watch for free on our YouTube channel from today.

Dale Rooks, who directed last year’s stage adaptation of the novel and is Director of Learning, Education and Participation (LEAP) at CFT, says:

‘Michael Morpurgo is a very good friend of the Theatre. Early on in lockdown, he contacted us to see if there was some way in which he could help with the content our LEAP team were creating for children and young people.

‘As one of the country’s favourite storytellers, we were thrilled that Michael agreed to record a series of videos, reading the whole of The Butterfly Lion. We hope it will be a real treat for children and families still spending a lot of time at home, and for schools needing curriculum-related content before they break up for the holidays. We’re hugely grateful to Michael for doing this.’

The Butterfly Lion won the Smarties Prize and the Writers’ Guild Award, and is published by HarperCollins. When Bertie is sent away from the African farm of his childhood to school in England, he leaves behind not only his beloved mother and the beautiful land, swarming with wildlife, but also his best friend – a white lion he rescued as a cub.

Bertie’s struggle to adjust to his new life in harsh, grey England is alleviated only by a chance friendship with the equally lonely Millie and his dreams of his treasured lion, now trapped in a French circus. But their remarkable journey is only just beginning, and the pair are destined to meet again.

Two chapters will be shared each day on our YouTube channel from 6 July.