David Bailey Furniture Systems was selected by ITV and Mammoth Screen to supply fitted hospital furniture for the new ITV medical drama, Monroe.
The six episode series, aired in March and April, focuses on Monroe, a neurosurgeon played by James Nesbitt, and the patients he comes into contact with. The programme’s hospital set, called ‘St Matthews Hospital’, is closely modelled on Leeds General Infirmary and it was imperative that real hospital furniture was used in the drama for authenticity.
ITV and Mammoth Screen first contacted David Bailey Furniture Systems through the company’s website by requesting a brochure. The production company was so impressed by the hospital furniture, in particular the nurse stations and hospital reception desks, that they asked if David Bailey would be willing to donate some items for the project.
The old derelict Grammar School in Leeds was converted for the set of ITV’sMonroe. The library became the hospital ward, the hall is now ITU, the canteen is the lobby and corridors, and the gymnasium is the hospital theatre. It took nine weeks to convert the school before shooting began. Fifteen carpenters, ten painters, and various laser cutters, artists and electricians were involved in preparing the building to achieve the desired result.
David Bailey had previously supplied panelling for Shepperton Studios and donated a nurse station to Royal Marsden Hospital in Fulham, but theMonroe project was a much larger hospital installation, including manufacturing furniture for ITU, the hospital wards and operating theatre areas. The Managing Director of David Bailey, Trevor Gillman, worked closely with Mammoth Screen to guide them on the furniture they would need, which included nurse stations, a ‘U’ shaped desk, worktops, and storage units.
From receiving the complete details and drawings from Mammoth Screen, David Bailey had less than three weeks to manufacture and deliver the furniture to the studios in Leeds. The items were transported by David Bailey ready assembled and installed onsite by Mammoth Screen’s carpenters. To further add to the authenticity of the hospital set, the new fitted furniture was painted with scuff marks by Mammoth Screen’s art department. Every single item of hospital furniture produced by David Bailey was used on the set of Monroe.
Mammoth Screen was delighted with the hospital furniture supplied by David Bailey. Anna Higginson, Production Designer, said: “By producing high quality units to my own specification, David Bailey Furniture Systems has enabled me to complete the authenticity I hoped to achieve for the hospital sets on Monroe. The craftsmanship is impeccable, and the vast variety of colour and texture has meant that I was able to use the units to compose the colour palette of the sets in detail. I am hugely grateful to them for being able to produce the amount of furniture I needed in such a tight time scale, in order to be ready for the filming deadline.”
Trevor Gillman, who project-managed the furniture design and production, said: “We are thrilled to have worked with Mammoth Screen for the ITV production. I enjoyed seeing our furniture in-situ on a site visit to theMonroe set, and a number of my colleagues followed the series to see our furniture on screen”.Case study date: January 30, 2014