‘Shiver Me Timbers – Pirates on Page, Stage and Screen’ is now open at The Word in South Shields. Designed, curated and produced by Sheridan Design on behalf of South Tyneside Council, this free immersive exhibition showcases a huge array of pirate literature and films, capturing the portrayal of pirates through the years, from the first author to popularise them in the 18th century, through to the films and literature that are still being produced and enjoyed by people of all ages around the world today.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is the large galleon that visitors can step inside and watch a captivating short film that asks the viewer, “What do you really know about pirates?” whilst dispelling some of the most popular pirate myths. The film tells the viewer everything they need to know about life on board a ship, from what pirates ate, to the punishments they received.
There is something for everyone and plenty of interactive games for children to enjoy. Have a go at hoisting the Jolly Roger, try your hand at some nautical knots or see if you can get Long John Silver’s parrot to talk! Throughout the exhibition, several well-known pirate characters have been brought to life through replica costumes, including children’s favourite villain, Captain Hook and the fearsome Blackbeard.
Learn how one of Britain’s all-time favourite pirates, Captain Pugwash, was created, by viewing behind-the-scenes footage of Isabel Ryan, daughter of creator John Ryan, animating Pugwash artwork as it would have been filmed for the BBC. Visitors can also view a black and white episode from the late 1950s, a colour episode from the 1970s, as well as marvelling at the first Captain Pugwash book dummy and some of the original cardboard artwork pieces.
The exhibition also includes a free audio tour that visitors can access from their smartphone.
So hoist the mainsail, get ready to weigh anchor and set sail for The Word, where the fascinating world of pirates awaits.