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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds: introduction

Victor (Andrew Gower), the Creature (David Harewood) and Elizabeth (Lacey Turner) at Kirkstall Abbey

BBC Three's Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds is a bold re-imagining of Mary Shelley's 1818 gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein. Set in the haunting surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey, this unique live music drama event brings a one-of-a-kind spectacular to the city of Leeds on Saturday 19 March 2011.

This adaptation, whilst remaining true to the themes of the original story, will blend live drama with music and dance, to bring an unprecedented experience to TV viewers at home and to the audience gathered in the Abbey's grounds. The live event will be broadcast on BBC Three at 8pm (broadcast time is subject to change).

The event centres on the lavish society wedding of Dr Victor Frankenstein (Andrew Gower, ITV's Monroe and Spotlight Prize Winner 2010) to his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Lavenza (Lacey Turner, Being Human and EastEnders). As the fretful bride prepares for the ceremony, Victor's Creature (David Harewood, Blood Diamond and Doctor Who) will make his way, through the streets of Leeds, towards the wedding.

The audience will see the world through the Creature's eyes – how he is rejected for the way he looks and his desire to belong; how he feels when Victor breaks his promise to make him a female companion, realising his existence will continue to be lonely and loveless. He is driven to murderous revenge – as Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds builds, at breakneck speed, to a climactic final confrontation between Creature and his creator.

Harry Lansdown, Acting Controller of BBC Three, says: "I'm thrilled that BBC Three is using the magnificent Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds to bring the story of Frankenstein to a live audience, as well as the viewers watching at home. The event will provide a unique, modern-day portrayal of this classic story, with tense drama and contemporary music and dance at its heart."

In a unique take on audience participation, the live audience is invited to attend the event in their best wedding outfits and play a real role as wedding guests. They will be fully immersed in the passion, emotion and horror of the classic tale with the action unfolding around them.

In the weeks leading up to the event, BBC Learning and Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre are set to help people find their dancing feet through a series of workshops to teach 2,000 locals a special wedding dance routine. This will culminate in a mass celebratory wedding dance live on the night.

For full dates and to book a workshop place, please visit www.phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk/frankenstein. (Places are limited and the workshops are being run by the Phoenix Dance Theatre and are not BBC events.)

A range of exclusive online content to support the live event can be found at bbc.co.uk/bbcthree.

Supported by BBC Learning, the site will host specially created two-minute video diaries for: i) Victor Frankenstein; ii) the Creature; and iii) Victor's bride-to-be, Elizabeth Lavenza – all of which introduce the characters and set the scene for the dramatic story.

The page also supports the dance workshops, and will feature a dance tutorial and a performance of the dance that the public need to learn for the big dance routine at the event. There is also information about the event's dress code.

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, BBC Music and Events, says: "This is a unique musical drama, using a combination of cutting-edge architectural projection mapping created by Seeper, an original music score composed by musical director Steve Sidwell (Moulin Rouge and the Royal Variety Performance) and innovative artistic direction by Colin Teague (Doctor Who and Being Human). The event will be an unforgettable spectacle."

Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds is a collaboration between BBC Three, BBC North, and BBC Cymru Wales.

The event is supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, Arts Council England through the National Lottery, Marketing Leeds, Leeds City Council, and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

The Creative Director is Colin Teague; Musical Director is Steven Sidwell, Producer is Tony Followell and Executive Producers are Meredith Chambers, Pat Connor, Richard Fell and Eleanor Moran. The adaptation is written by Chloe Moss.

Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds was commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, BBC Music and Events and Danny Cohen, former Controller of BBC Three.

Full details can be found at bbc.co.uk/bbcthree.

Frankenstein's Wedding... Live In Leeds is part of the BBC's Year Of Books. The pan-BBC Year of Books is a year-long celebration of literature which invites audiences to free their imagination through the exploration, enjoyment and discussion of books. The BBC is the biggest producer of books-related programming and throughout 2011 will highlight its continued commitment to literature and all quality arts programming. From regular literary stands to documentaries, series, dramas and readings, the year will offer a range of new and archive programmes.

BBC North

BBC North is one of the most ambitious projects in the BBC's history and will create a new centre of excellence outside London for production, technology development, training and digital media. The move starts in May 2011 and the project is on time and in budget and will help meet the commitment to get as close to audiences as possible.

From its base at MediaCityUK and regional offices in Leeds, Hull, Sheffield and Newcastle, BBC North will support locally produced, high quality content for every platform using the latest innovations in technology. It will also create new content that will be enjoyed by audiences across the UK and facilitate the creation of new partnerships with organisations including independent producers, cutting-edge digital companies and universities across the north of England.

BBC Cymru Wales

BBC Cymru Wales is the national broadcaster of Wales, providing content for TV, radio and online in both English and Welsh.

BBC Wales has gained an enviable reputation for its acclaimed network dramas, such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock and Upstairs Downstairs, as well as for its network factual and music output, including Human Planet, Bruce Parry's Arctic, and the Legends series. Later this year, BBC Wales' new drama studios at Roath Lock, Cardiff Bay, will become the home of Casualty, along with other productions such as Doctor Who and Welsh language continuing drama Pobol y Cwm.

BBC Wales also produces a wide variety of English language programming for viewers in Wales; Welsh language programmes for S4C; and is the home of two national radio stations, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, as well as Welsh and English language online services.

SG

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