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Visitors Hooked by New Exhibition

A pirate-themed exhibition which sailed into South Tyneside last month has attracted more than 15,000 visitors since it opened three weeks ago.

Shiver Me Timbers - Pirates on Page, Stage and Screen is the new exhibition currently on display at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields.

Sponsored by the Port of Tyne, this immersive exhibition celebrates pirates and their seafaring adventures and transports budding crew mates back to the golden age of piracy.

Visitors can step inside a galleon to find out all about life on board a ship and discover how fictional characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow and Peter Pan were brought to life on screen.

The exhibition pays homage to the authors who first popularised pirates, such as Daniel Defoe who wrote Robinson Crusoe and Captain Singleton and works picked up by Hollywood, including Sea Hawk and Captain Blood.

Contemporary pirate stories such as The Piratica Series and the hugely popular pirate film franchise Pirates of the Caribbean also feature in the exhibition. The exhibition includes information about the famous Captain Pugwash with the first Captain Pugwash dummy and some of the original cardboard artwork pieces on display. Visitors can view behind-the-scenes footage of the creator's daughter Isabel Ryan animating Pugwash artworks as it would have been filmed for the BBC. People can also view a black and white episode from the late 1950s and a colour episode from the 1970s.

A Pieces of Eight treasure hunt and a range of pirate games and activities are also on offer from hoisting the Jolly Roger and tying nautical knots to dressing up as a pirate and trying to get Long John Silver's parrot to talk.

The exhibition also includes a FREE audio tour which visitors can access from their smartphone.

The exhibition 'pod' is dressed to simulate a pirate ship at sea in a storm while TV monitors display a range of contemporary dance movements performed by a variety of community groups that have been inspired by an original poem about the life of pirates.

The Deputy Leader with responsibility for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Alan Kerr, said: "In a short space of time, The Word has made quite a name for itself, attracting thousands of visitors from near and far.

"A key part of that appeal is the rolling programme of exhibitions which cater for both young and old alike.

"The latest exhibition is no exception and I am confident people will want to come back again and again. In fact, I am sure this exhibition will have them 'hooked.'"

Susan Wear, Port of Tyne Director of Corporate Affairs, said: ""We're delighted to be involved with another exciting exhibition at The Word.  It's a great asset for South Tyneside and is already attracting people from far and wide."



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