Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Frankenstein's Wedding brings terrifying marriage of music and drama to Leeds in March 2011

Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian: Phoenix Dance Theatre with Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North and Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council

For one night only, in March 2011, the city of Leeds will play host to a spectacular live TV event – the marriage of scientist Victor Frankenstein and his bride-to-be, Elizabeth. Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds is a bold and ambitious music and drama event. It will explore the iconic story through contemporary performance and cutting-edge musical content. A collaboration between BBC Wales, BBC North and local organisations in Leeds, the spectacular live event will be broadcast on BBC Three.

Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds is a bold reimagining of Mary Shelley's much-loved masterpiece, Frankenstein. Set against the gothic magnificence of Kirkstall Abbey in the city, this one-of-a kind performance will bring the passion, emotion and horror from the classic tale to a live audience.

With spectacular light projections and audience participation throughout, viewers at Kirkstall Abbey and at home will experience the content as it happens.

Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North, says: "Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds promises to be a truly unique event both for the live audience in Kirkstall Abbey and for viewers across the UK. Not only will the audience be able to get involved on the night itself, but in the weeks leading up to the event they will be encouraged to rediscover this classic novel."

Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC One and BBC Three, adds: "Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds is the kind of Arts television for young viewers that only the BBC would provide. It's a very creatively ambitious project, and BBC Three is delighted to be working so closely with the city of Leeds to bring this iconic story to vibrant life."

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, Music and Events, says: "We are delighted to be working with local organisations in Leeds to bring this great story to life through music and drama and to involve the people of Leeds in the heart of the story."

The pan-BBC project is being supported by key organisations within the city, including Leeds City Council, Welcome to Yorkshire, Marketing Leeds and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Leisure, says: "We are delighted that the BBC have chosen the city of Leeds and the magnificent Kirkstall Abbey as the backdrop for this exciting project. Kirkstall Abbey is the perfect setting for this event and we look forward to helping bring the story of Frankenstein to life for millions of people to enjoy."

Gary Verity, Chief Executive, Welcome to Yorkshire, says: "We have worked hard to bring this exciting project into Yorkshire. It will be a spectacular production in a special location which will showcase Kirkstall Abbey's imposing splendour to millions around the country and introduce more people to the wealth of historic buildings which Yorkshire has to offer."

Deborah Green, Chief Executive, Marketing Leeds, comments: "We are proud to be working with the BBC. The retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a first for both Leeds and the BBC and the project can only serve to further enhance the city's current offering of culture, arts, music and dance."

Following on from the successes of Manchester Passion (2006) and Liverpool Nativity (2008) which were both broadcast on BBC Three, Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds plays into the audience's desire to feel at the centre of the action.

It will stay true to the ethical and scientific themes but will burst open the classic text, fusing live drama with contemporary dance to bring a unique viewing experience for both the TV viewers and the audience in the Abbey itself.

The event will focus on the lavish wedding of Victor Frankenstein and his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth Lavenza. While Elizabeth fusses over seating plans, Victor broods on a dark secret – the murderous monster he has created.

In a unique take on audience participation, an audience of thousands will be invited to attend the event in their best wedding outfits and play a real role as wedding guests.

Phoenix Dance Theatre, a dance company based in Leeds, will also be involved with the project. They will lead on the choreography and dancers from the company will also perform as part of the final event.

BBC Learning is planning to run a series of dance workshops with Phoenix Dance Theatre, enabling the audience to learn routines that will be part of the performance, and will also highlight the themes of the Frankenstein text through social media platforms.

Full ticket details and cast will be announced early next year, alongside further information about the event and how people can be part of it.

TM/SG

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