I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
A gruesome, hilarious look at the history of pirates
When I was growing up, the Horrible Histories books were a quintessential staple of my childhood and probably explain my fascination with blood, gore and crime. Written by author Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, Horrible Histories taught me all I know about those Awful Egyptians, Terrible Tudors and Groovy Greeks.
Learn the ropes of Pirate life at the WA Maritime Museum!
Along with the introduction of the more recent television series of the same name, a whole new generation is learning about the past in the unique, Horrible Histories black-comedy, tongue-in-cheek and gruesome style of storytelling. I recently went along to the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle to see how the current exhibition 'Horrible Histories – Pirates: The Exhibition', stacks up against the original books.
The exhibition is based on the Horrible Histories franchise.
At every turn, there is information about the history of pirates, told only as Terry Deary knows how. Read about how there were more rats than humans on the pirate ships, hear about different weapons from a 'real' pirate and what they were used for, or try your hand at the 'Wheel of Punishment' and learn your fate! I got Death By A Thousand Cuts. Ouch.
This guy will tell you all about which weapons are the best!
The exhibition is perhaps one of the most interactive displays I have ever seen – just about every facet has an activity for the kids, including skulls you can peer into and learn facts, swords to swing at your fellow swashbucklers and games to play, including the Game of Strife, in which you can see how you would have fared in the pirate life.
There are several large pirate ships dotted throughout the exhibition, all with information to read or activities to complete. Perhaps the most popular part of the exhibit were the cannons. There are two pirate ships, facing each other and each armed with a cannon and balls designed to take your enemy down!
The cannon balls are soft, of course, and won't do any real damage – my almost three-year-old copped a few cannons in the head and didn't even bat an eyelid. I, on the other hand, am clearly more of a wuss and went running for my life after being hit in the back. I wouldn't make a good pirate.
After the exhibition, children can have a go at colouring in pirate-themed pictures or take a wander around the rest of the Maritime Museum, which has some fascinating insights into WA's marine history, including more interactive exhibits for the kids.
Little swashbuckling wannabes can also have a Pirate Themed party at the museum! Learn how to steal the best loot, splat the rats and then enjoy a hearty Cicerello's lunch! Pirate Parties are available for the duration of the exhibition and run between 9:30am and 12pm. Prices are $25 per person.
Horrible Histories – Pirates: The Exhibition is open every day between now and Sunday, 12 August from 9:30am and 5pm, except on Good Friday and Anzac Day, when the museum opens between 1pm and 5pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12.50 for children aged 5 to 15 years and concession holders. Children under 5 are free to enter. You can also purchase a family ticket. Ticket prices include entry to the exhibition and to the rest of the Maritime Museum.
For fans of Horrible Histories – whether it's yourself or your children – this is one exhibition that will make you giggle, squirm and fascinate you while teaching you some honest truths about life as a pirate.