Frankenstein to boost Yorkshire tourism coffers

17th Mar 2011 Yorkshire

Frankenstein to boost Yorkshire tourism coffers

Businesses in Leeds are set to benefit from this weekend's live BBC screening of Frankenstein's Wedding... Live in Leeds, a drama which will incorporate 12,000 audience members.

That's the view of Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity who told Insider the show, to be filmed in Kirkstall Abbey, would also raise the profile of Yorkshire as a tourism destination.

"We've worked hard to bring this massive event to Leeds and the benefits will hopefully be felt by many businesses in the city on Saturday," said Verity.

"The BBC certainly know how to put on a show and we're confident the broadcast and live event will raise Yorkshire's ever growing profile as a leading cultural destination in Europe.

"If people visit Leeds for the first time and enjoy themselves, as we're sure they will, then hopefully they will return to the city which will benefit the local economy."

Verity's thoughts were echoed by Lesley Jackson, executive director of Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre, which has masterminded a mass dance moment in the performance featuring 2,000 extras for the BBC Three programme.

"I think it is really beneficial the BBC made the decision to come to Leeds to do this," Jackson told Insider.

"The BBC seems very mindful of relations in the North and I think a lot of that's to do with Media City opening in Salford," she added.

"They've done the Manchester Passion and the Liverpool Nativity and it was a case of what next and where? From what I understand, Leeds was a clear winner."

According to Jackson, the architecture of Kirkstall Abbey appealed to BBC producers and was selected as a "beautiful Gothic example" which matched the Frankenstein story.

The event, a collaboration between BBC Three, BBC North and BBC Cymru Wales - rumoured to include a surprise appearance by pop star Adele - has been made possible with the support of Leeds City Council, Marketing Leeds and Welcome to Yorkshire.

"It's showcasing the wider region," said Jackson.

"Although performed live, some of the scenes have been filmed in advance and are in the city of Leeds and show the city itself."

Phoenix, which has recently relocated in Leeds cultural quarter, also stands to benefit from the exposure, as Jackson explained.

"It's increased our profile as an organisation and not just in the city," she said.

"This is BBC Three and a national production that's going out across the country."

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