The award-winning Frankenstein's Wedding....Live in Leeds was a hugely ambitious, £1m multiplatform project. Set in the haunting surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds, the unique live event for BBC 3 was a critically acclaimed re-imagining of Mary Shelley's gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein, presented as a musical drama.
Frankenstein’s Wedding aired in March 2012 and was seen by 453,000, with repeats taking it to more than 1 million. Tony Cahalane, Managing Director of NEP Cymru, was Technical Manager for the project and oversaw every step of the complex technical planning process for the BBC. NEPC supplied all the broadcast facilities for the event as well as the majority of the crew.
Technically it was challenging but exciting - all but 10 minutes of the 90-minute show was broadcast live from six different stage sets, as the main cast of 10 were joined by a 60-strong choir, a 20-piece orchestra and a live band. An audience of 12,000 people were also crammed into the Abbey and its surrounding to participate in the event as "wedding guests", all dressed for the part and joining in the first dance of the wedding with the cast.
The production team was required to rapidly switch between shooting in confined spaces with one or two actors to vast stages in front of the 12,000 strong audience, as well as mixing live and pre-recorded footage. NEPC supplied a 14 camera OB using Sony HDC 1500 cameras, shooting in a progressive format with 40+ cable drops to provide the drama and live sound effects on set. Using a sound mobile NEPC provided a submix of the orchestra and the company was also responsible for the comms and sound and vision infrastructure for the adjoining media village, the grips and specialist camera mounts.
The programme won a prestigious Broadcast Award for Best Music Programme in February 2012 as well as Best Live Event Coverage at the Broadcast Digital Awards in 2011. The Broadcast Award judges dubbed it “innovative and epic, as well as visually exciting” and praised its “originality, ambition and boldness”.
Frankenstein's Wedding....Live in Leeds was a collaboration between BBC Three, BBC North and BBC Cymru Wales with a cast of actors which included Andrew Gower, Lacey Turner and David Harewood.