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South Tyneside will pay tribute to one of its most illustrious sons at the opening of The Word, National Centre for the Written Word.


A spectacular exhibition about world-famous film director Sir Ridley Scott will launch the stunning cultural venue in South Shields.

The fascinating display will showcase six of his most well-known movies: Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Robin Hood, Thelma and Louise and The Martian.

A seven-feet-high alien is just one of the iconic props that have been commissioned by South Tyneside Council for the exhibition, which will also feature interactive experiences, kids' activities, movie trivia and a dedicated mobile app.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by Port of Tyne, will be launched on October 22, when The Word officially opens to the public.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said:  "We're confident that The Word will draw people from across the region and beyond, so it is fitting that one of South Tyneside's most prominent talents should be celebrated in its opening exhibition.

"This superb exhibition provides a fascinating insight into how Sir Ridley uses storyboards to transform the written word into his award-winning films.

"It has a universal appeal that will not only provide a fantastic visitor experience but will signal that South Shields is open for business as a premier coastal resort."

The exhibition, which has been designed and built by one of the north-east's leading design agencies, Sheridan Design, is the first major exhibition to celebrate Sir Ridley's life and work. A state-of-the-art media tower with 21 screens will show clips from each featured film and a selection of other movies from Sir Ridley's portfolio.

The exhibition display is complemented by a host of interactive entertainment including a picture shuffling game; film trivia quiz and cube body spinners featuring characters from the movies. A purpose-built mobile app will provide fascinating facts, hidden messages from the movies and YouTube footage of trailers and interviews.

An exhibition ‘pod' will celebrate Sir Ridley's commercial advertising career, with plasma screens displaying his most memorable adverts, including for Hovis and Apple.

The Word is the centrepiece of the first phase of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan being delivered by South Tyneside Council and its partner Muse Developments.

The cultural centre, which incorporates library and digital media space, will boast an impressive range of facilities including a computer gaming area, a FabLab with 3D printers and vinyl and laser cutters, digitised archives, meeting rooms, children's immersive storytelling area, OpenZone IT suite, café and a rooftop restaurant providing stunning views over the river.

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