Investigating Detectives at The Word in South Shields offers an interactive tribute to super sleuths
Vera, Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple are just some of the world-famous super-sleuths to come under the spotlight as a South Tyneside cultural centre reopens its exhibition space – with visitors offered a chance to put themselves in the shoes of suspects.
The large ground floor display room at The Word in South Shields officially reopened on Thursday October 21 with the launch of Investigating Detectives – an interactive tribute to crime solvers from the worlds of literature, film and television.
Visitors to The Word will be able to step into Agatha Christie’s Orient Express-themed film space and explore Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street office.
The free exhibition will also give visitors the opportunity to find out more about characters such as Hercule Poirot, Columbo and Inspector Morse as well explore the public’s fascination with crime and examine the forensics used by real-life detectives to catch killers.
In addition, there is a section on North East detectives, with a film about the life and work of local crime writer and author of Vera, Ann Cleeves as well as a variety of interactive activities for visitors of all ages.
These include the chance for people to pose for a police ‘mugshot,’ test their eyewitness skills and examine their own fingerprints under a microscope.
Display boards also give an insight into how the crime and detective literary genre has changed over the decades. Another area illustrates detective-inspired films and programming for children.
The launch of the exhibition was postponed due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March 2020 but has now finally opened to the public.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “I’m very excited to get back into this space because the quality of the exhibition space here in the word is great. Looking at the exhibition, it doesn’t disappoint at all.
“I’m a huge supporter of all things cultural and I think it’s really important to have events like this and make them accessible to people. I think certainly in South Tyneside I am keen to make sure as many people as possible have access to culture and involve themselves in it.”