Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Director blames Shakespeare for mediocrity
The Olympic Stadium will be transformed into the "British countryside" for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games on 27 July.
A cast of 10,000 volunteers will help recreate country scenes, against a backdrop featuring farmyard animals and landmarks like Glastonbury Tor.
The opening scene of the £27m ceremony will be called "Green and Pleasant", artistic director Danny Boyle revealed.
There have already been 157 cast rehearsals and Boyle added: "I've been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the pure embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation."
The set will feature meadows, fields and rivers, with families taking picnics, people playing sports on the village green and farmers tilling the soil.
Real farmyard animals will be grazing in the "countryside", with a menagerie of 30 sheep, 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese and three sheepdogs. [That's actually almost the entire countryside]
One billion people worldwide are expected to watch the opening ceremony.
The 27 July event will feature:
* Pre-show starting at 20:12 BST
* 1,100 automated lamps
* One million watt sound system with 500 speakers
* 50 tonnes of sound gear
* 15,000m sq metres of staging
* 12,956 props
* 24,570 costume buttons for one of opening sequences
[They've nicked this from a T S eliot poem]
The world's largest "harmonically-tuned" bell, weighing 23 tonnes and measuring 2m tall x 3m wide, will ring inside the Stadium to start the Shakespeare-inspired spectacle, featuring 900 children from the six Games host boroughs.
The bell, which was produced by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and is inscribed with a quote from The Tempest's Caliban: "Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises", was installed in the Stadium last week.
Boyle said it was appropriate
Among the other features will be two pits - one representing the Glastonbury festival and another the Last Night of the Proms - filled with members of the public.