Tyne & Wear Museum’s Tudor Lives is an interactive exhibition for people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the hidden Tudor history of the North East. It is a touring exhibition that aims to display original Tudor objects, provide a fun, inspirational, interactive experience for visitors to the region’s museums and galleries.
This exhibition is an excellent facility for school groups, children and families – it offers engaging activities and self-driven interactives, supported by enthusiastic staff members and volunteers, and has clearly been well designed, managed and maintained. The school groups we saw learning Tudor dances, etiquette, building and cookery skills were clearly enjoying themselves immensely, and were excellently managed in their various activities by the on site staff and costumed interpreter. Their noisy engagement with the displays and activities did not appear to detract from the experience for other visitors exploring the exhibition that day – and arguably added to it.
The exhibition deserves an award for the way in which it engages visitors of all ages in the lives of the Tudors in the North East and for the hands-on way children in particular are encouraged to think about life in the past.
If we have any criticism of the displays at all, it is that the content and activities are perhaps rather less engaging for adults and for those with a specialist interest in the Tudor period in the North East, the latter identified in particular as target audience for the displays. To address this, we would recommend that further layers of information – available within and beyond the exhibition itself – be provided for adults and those with a specialist interest in the subject in future and/or for additional links to be promoted with other sites and resources across Tyne & Wear Museums and the region.
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