Everyone who went to a dress rehearsal — or ‘technical’ rehearsal, as it said on our ticket — seems to have been very well behaved about not revealing the secrets of the opening ceremony. I only took a little point and shoot, in case it was confiscated at the gate, but nobody seemed to care – just so long as you remembered to #savethesurprise and not post your pictures until Friday night, cameras were let straight through.
Well now it’s Saturday morning and the real thing has been live on TV, with an estimated audience of four billion. So, here’s a few of the snaps as the first ever public viewing of the 2012 Opening Ceremony.
The show starts with a green and pleasant land. This had been revealed a long way in advance of the games, so it was a surprise to nobody, and we thought this might be the setting for the whole thing, which didn’t really fill us with wonder. Fifteen minutes later, though, it’s all gone…
So the green and pleasant land was just a decoy, for under the stage were these enormous smoking chimneys, which rise up as the 10,000 performers cart away the bushes, fences and fields. The turf is loaded onto tractors and driven away as the land is thoroughly industrialised.
…and then they set about casting one of the Olympic rings. It’s not obvious what they’re doing until four more rings hover in across the stadium and they all come together in mid air in a burst of pyrotechnics.
There are several distinct acts to the ceremony. One of the grandest, about childhood nightmares, sees Voldemort doing battle with an army of Mary Poppins who fly in from the stadium roof.
Many of the performers in the nightmare section are doctors and nurses from the NHS and Great Ormond Street Hospital, who wheel on dozens of light-up beds, some of which are trampolines.
Other sections celebrate British cinema and, here, music.
Winding back to the start of the night, this was us under the blue canopy sea. All in all, a fantastic night out that exceeded my expectations.
Posted by Nik