Boyle and the Bard come together for Olympics opening ceremony

Jan 30th, 2012 | By | Category: London News

With the often controversial, Oscar winning director of gritty dramas such as Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and Shallow Grave appointed as artistic director, one might expect the opening ceremony of London’s Olympic games to be a dark tale of urban discord, but Danny Boyle has shown that he can do patriotism with equal aplomb. The ceremony, titled ‘Isles of Wonder’ is a nod to Britain’s eternal bard, William Shakespeare and sees a reworking of his play The Tempest starting with the character Caliban’s line ‘Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises’ after the 27-tonne, stadium bell has been struck; a suitably dramatic start to an especially momentous event.


The ceremony will cost 27 million, a lower budget than assigned to the games in Beijing, but will undoubtedly be no less spectacular in such capable hands. ‘Billy Elliott’ director Stephen Daldry is also overseeing as Executive Director, so some of Britain’s best and brightest are on hand to ensure this represents the country in a fitting way.  In an effort to represent what is unique about Britain and to involve the local community, the ceremony will feature NHS nurses and 900 local school children. The ceremony itself will focus on a land recovering from its industrial heritage and will include a welcoming of the Queen by IOC and Locog bosses, a parade of athletes and the lighting of the Olympic flame.


Although some traditional elements are in place, this is an opening ceremony tailored to represent modern London. As such, rave band Underworld have been appointed musical directors, so a traditional score, may be replaced by something with a bit more adrenaline. It may be a departure for Danny Boyle and it may be a whole new style of Olympic celebration, but with a hefty budget in talented hands, and an audience of up to 4 billion to take into consideration, this will be nothing short of a legendary show, which is why it’s just as well Boyle selected Shakespeare as the cultural helm.

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