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Once There Was Magic – A new interactive exhibition experience from Seven Stories

A brand new exhibition from Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s books – Once There was Magic is an exhibition experience unlike any other currently available for hire!

The exhibition was developed during (and as a direct response to) the restrictions imposed on our venues and visitors during the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Based around The Wizards of Once series, by current children’s laureate, Cressida Cowell, it dives into the world of magic as represented both in her novels, as well as other titles including His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, The Witches, The Chronicles of Narnia, amongst others.

In this exhibition experience, visitors will be invited to leave their reality at the door and literally step through a portal into another, magical world.  The Wild Woods, to be precise, where they will be met by a wizard!   The wizard will be their guide through a series of escape room style pods where visitors must work in their (covid secure) teams of up to 6 adults to solve a series of puzzles in order to advance through the exhibition.  Visitors will encounter live guides, special effects and fiendish challenges inside each of the 5 pods.

There are iconic original artworks, including Jim Kay artwork from the illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series, Quentin Blake artwork from The Witches by Roald Dahl, and Paul Kidby artwork from Terry Pratchett’s A Hat Full of Sky amongst many others for visitors to explore.

The use of pods allows visitors to remain in their covid secure ‘bubbles’ at all times and surfaces can be easily cleaned between visitors. The exhibition has been a resounding success since opening at Seven Stories in the summer, receiving visitor reviews of 8/10 or higher.

The tour is almost fully booked, however, recently one of our venues has had to give up their slot for July to October 2022 and so a rare opportunity to host the exhibition has just arisen!

If you would like some more information on hiring the exhibition for this slot, please email sarah.mglynn@sevenstories.org.uk or claire.teasdale@sevenstories.org.uk.  You can also see a video here, which gives a good idea on how the exhibition works for visitors and venues alike.

Key Audiences: Public audiences – families with children age 7+, Schools audiences (bubbles of 7-9 children) – KS2, KS3

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