Tyne & Wear

South Shields Passion: Thousands at BBC One Easter special

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Media captionShipping containers have been transformed by artists

Thousands of people have taken part in an Easter event on South Tyneside broadcast live on national television.

Art, dance, poetry, choirs and an orchestra were combined for The Great North Passion, a BBC One event at Bent's Park, South Shields.

Sixty-four shipping containers, some transformed to reflect the stations of the cross, were used to tell the story of Christ's death.

The event's presenter Fern Britton said it was a "real visual feast".

"Also it's terribly emotional," she added.

"We've got films of the people of South Shields and the North East, telling us their personal stories of difficult times in their lives and there's one of them, even to think about it now I started to cry."

Image caption Some containers housed art reflecting the stations of the cross

The Great North Passion was produced in partnership with the Cultural Spring, a £2m Arts Council project to get more people involved in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Containers were customised by local communities in Northumberland, Middlesbrough, North and South Tyneside and Gateshead.

Singer Alexandra Burke, who performed at the event, said she was "honoured" to be involved.

She said she had "never heard of anything like" using shipping containers to tell the story of Jesus' death but it was a "wonderful way of getting people connected to what Easter is about", she said.

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