Olympic opening ceremony to feature countryside theme
Director Danny Boyle has revealed that his London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony plans will see the Olympic Stadium resembling “the British countryside”, featuring farmyard animals and the village cricket team.
The director dubbed the £27million opening ceremony, which takes place on July 27th, “green and pleasant” with the aim of creating “a picture of ourselves as a nation”.
Ten thousand volunteers, possibly local East Londoners, will be selected be to be part of the event to recreate country views along with 70 sheep dogs, 12 horses, ten chickens, three sheep dogs, real grass and a plough. Rain is also expected to be part of the opening ceremony and huge clouds with fake rain are suspended on wires in case the British weather fails to deliver.
The stadium will also be the host to Glastonbury Tor with a large oak tree on top and “mosh pits” at either end of the arena. One of those pits will be occupied by around 100 young people in a festive atmosphere while the other pit will represent the final night of the Proms.
The opening ceremony will also include elements of work by William Shakespeare, who is the inspiration behind Boyle’s vision. Influenced by The Tempest, the three-hour ceremony will be titled Isles of Wonder, based on a speech given by Caliban in the aforementioned play.
The beginning of the show will be marked by the ringing of Europe’s largest bell at around 9pm while the ending of the show at around 12.30 am will also hear the tolling of bell which will signify peace. “The bells didn’t ring during the War but they rang when peace was declared. This is a wonderful way to start the show with the sound of peace,” said Boyle.
Boyle said that he hopes the show will unveil itself like a puzzle being put together, but refused to reveal how the pieces will fit.
Stephan Daldry, the ceremonies executive director, commented: “This is not a show by committee, it has been created by Danny Boyle and it represents all of the depth, imagination, humour and visceral filmmaking style Danny brings.”
Around one billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony while 80,000 fans will be in attendance to watch the full dress rehearsal before the day itself.