Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Frankenstein's Wedding Experience

Victor Frankenstein (pictured left), the ‘mad scientist’ created by Mary Shelley 193 years ago, was alive and ‘well’ yesterday (albeit for 55 minutes) at Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, where he married his bride Elizabeth. That was until of course Victor was shot dead by a Police marksmen with a Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine gun, after Victor had threatened to shoot dead his own monstrous creation…that had just killed Victor’s best friend, father and bride…confused? Don't be, this was a modern take on the gothic tragedy of the Frankenstein story, with the entire event broadcast live on BBC Three.

Think ‘Frankenstein’ and images of a seven foot, square shouldered, green skinned, lobotomised, zombie often come to mind, as Victor Frankenstein is best known for the creation of Frankenstein’s monster (often erroneously referred to as Frankenstein). On this occasion Frankenstein’s monster was played superbly by David Harewood with Andrew Gower as Victor Frankenstein, and Lacey Turner as his bride Elizabeth, along with other familiar faces from TV including Mark Williams as Victor’s father, and the superbly talented all-singing all-dancing and definitely show-stealing Jemima Rooper as Elizabeth’s maid of honour. In addition, a cast of costumed cameos and extras (including my colleague Rebekka Kill from Leeds Met) acted as dinner and wedding guests.

The Kirkstall Abbey set featured an arena area with a stage where some of the live performance was held, along with a glass fronted laboratory where Victor carried out his evil experiments, and a large screen where the live broadcast program was also shown. For the gathered live audience of approximately 7,000, the event provided theatre, musical, concert and cinema, whilst the abbey buildings provided an atmospheric gothic backdrop, upon which lights and images were projected that changed with the mood and emotion of the story. Even mother nature played her part, by providing a haunting perigree ‘supermoon’, which due to it’s orbit appeared 14% larger than what a full moon usually does. It is fair to say that the event was lavish, with music, drama, pyrotechnics, lightshows, costumes, choreographed dancing and BBC Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates hosting proceedings, all in the ruins of an Abbey built by Cisterican Monks in the mid 12th Century.

The live audience played their part, many of whom attended in costume, cheering the live stage elements, photographing the bride and groom using camera flashes (when prompted), and dancing along with a choreographed celebratory wedding dance after the ceremony.

The production of Frankenstein’s wedding was a joint one between BBC Wales, BBC North and BBC Three in what the BBC described as a ‘bold and ambitious music and drama event’. Kirkstall Abbey’s gothic ruins and surrounding parkland set on the North bank of the River Aire in Leeds, made an ideal setting for the drama of Frankenstein’s Wedding story. As a live event, this was its key strength, and for the amassed audience, it provided an emotionally involved and captivating viewer experience, something that the larger television audience unfortunately may not have experienced in the same way. Bold and ambitious this certainly was, and as far as bringing a high quality theatrical experience into the community was undoubtedly a great success that should be applauded, however the difficulty in broadcasting 'atmosphere' means that this is a view that may not necessarily be reflected by the armchair critics watching from home.

Some images of the night are featured here 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vote Rebecca Holmes for the Student Glamour Awards 2011

Second year BA (Hons) Entertainment Management student Rebecca Holmes, is aiming for glory in the 2011 Student Glamour Awards. Rebecca (pictured left), who is from Leeds has made it through to the last 40 entrants, and is now in the competition’s third round proper, having recently become champion of the ‘North – Leeds’ region. She is hoping to get through to the finals, which will be held in London in May.

Rebecca first started modelling when she was 15 years old, and now aged 21 is a professional model, working for two different agencies, she is also a professional photographer, and works in promotions for Voodoo Events. Rebecca has stated that the varied work experience, which she has gained within the entertainment industry has complimented her academic studies, giving her a better understanding than many, how various sectors within the industry operate.

Rebecca entered into the competition ‘as a bit of a laugh’ but soon found that her popularity amongst voters propelled her through the competition’s early stages, and now she stands a realistic chance of actually winning. The first prize for the competition is to appear on the front cover of lads mag Zoo Magazine, as well as a huge modelling career boost, with many lucrative contracts and a network of new contacts, this was the case for Sam Bowden from Kingston University, who won the competition in 2010, and has since appeared twice on the cover of Zoo Magazine, as well as in FHM and various other magazines, campaigns and promotions.

To vote Rebecca into the fourth and final round of the competition, text SGA 52 to 87121.