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Michael Morpurgo to retell Shakespeare's plays using modern language for young readers

The author has announced plans for a new book

Michael Morpurgo during the curtain call for War Horse
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Michael Morpurgo has revealed plans to retell the works of Shakespeare in a new book for young readers.

Speaking to The Times, Morpurgo has stated that the book will be aimed at those aged between six and 16, and aims to be published later this year. It will feature "language and images from 21st-century inner-city life, such as gangs and drugs."

Morpurgo, who has seen many of his written pieces transfer to the stage (including the massive hit War Horse), says he will write the pieces with a mixture of Shakespeare's language and his own words.

The author told The Times that the project may incur some criticism: "It will be controversial. Just as retelling Bible stories is controversial. But I do not give a monkey's. If people don't like it, they don't like it. What I am sure of is it needs doing."

According to Morpurgo, making these works accessible at a younger age can then foster a life-long love of Shakespeare's works, rather than putting students off.