NEWS: The Word – The National Centre For The Written Word | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Word officially opens to the public in South Shields on Saturday 22nd October, with a spectacular exhibition which aims to cement the National Centre For The Written Word as a creative hub for the region.

The innovative opening exhibition provides a fascinating insight into how storyboards are used to transform the written word into film – in this case, into the award-winning films of South Shields-born Sir Ridley Scott.

His greatest movies – Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Robin Hood, Thelma And Louise and The Martian – will all be showcased in this fascinating installation, which includes a superb interactive display featuring a state-of-the-art media tower with 21 screens and a seven foot alien! Test your film knowledge with a movie trivia quiz and try out the purpose-built mobile app which provides fascinating facts, hidden messages from the movies and YouTube footage of trailers and interviews.

The brand new cultural venue in the Market Place in South Shields is the centerpiece of the first phase of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan. The current library is being rehoused in this fabulous new center, with 9000 new books and a much enhanced Local Studies and Family History section, as well as a digital media space, a range of advanced technology areas, café and a rooftop restaurant with stunning views over the river.

The innovative opening exhibition provides a fascinating insight into how storyboards are used to transform the written word into film

Across the first floor of the building a free exhibition entitled Lost Dialects will celebrate the region’s industrial heritage by looking at the lost language of the North East and its industries. As language evolves, some North East words and phrases are in danger of being lost forever. To stop this from happening, visitors will be invited to donate their own favourite words to the word bank with the aim of creating the biggest collection of dialect words in the country.

Lost Dialects has been curated by local acclaimed poet and playwright Tom Kelly, and will also feature archive photos, a fun interactive quiz to test your knowledge of North East words and a jukebox of North East songs.

Additional events at the venue include Jibba Jabba Slam, hosted by spoken word artist and poet Jenni Pascoe, where 12 performers compete to showcase their spoken-word and comedic skills (Tuesday 25th October) and an evening with Men of the Tyne and North East folk singer Benny Graham, who present a heart-warming show of songs and stories which capture the life of men who worked in the shipyards from the 1950s to the 1960s (Sunday 30th October).

With the centre aiming to provide a legacy of literacy skills for the region, the opening exhibitions also serve as a shining example of North East creative talent.

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