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Published On: Wed, Jun 13th, 2012

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony to feature pastoral Great Britian

The London 2012 opening ceremony will start with an anarchic pastoral vision of Britain’s green and pleasant land, featuring real animals, fake rain, a mosh-pit in tribute to the Glastonbury Festival and a ‘posh-pit’ summoning the spirit of the Last Night of the Proms. – Telegraph UK

Details from director Danny Boyle regarding the opening ceremony are now being released. The Telegraph article reveals how the stadium will be presented with real grass, as if it were in a meadow.

The main stadium will be transformed into a meadow, with landscaped real grass laid over the infield and a game of cricket unfolding in one corner. The theatrical maxim of not working with children or animals will be thoroughly ignored, as 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep and three sheep dogs feature in the opening scene.

First look at what the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony will look like Photo: AP

A few of the other details:

  • A replica of Glastonbury Tor, with an oak tree on top instead of the chapel which rests on the real one
  • A mosh pit with Glastonbury flags
  • Giant Bell with the posh pit

Boyle unveiled the model, which also includes “real clouds that Boyle says can produce real rain — in case the British weather fails to comply.”

The meadow is surrounded by a circular parade ground for the 10,500 athletes taking part in the games. Boyle has nicknamed it the M25, after the often-clogged commuter highway that rings London.

Boyle, the filmmaker behind “Trainspotting” and the Academy Award-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” said the set for the opening ceremony will evoke the “green and pleasant land” of William Blake’s poem “Jerusalem,” an emblem of Englishness.

Boyle unveiled the model to reporters at 3 Mills Studios, near the Olympic Park, where craftspeople are working to create almost 3,000 props and 23,000 costumes for the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Boyle said even though most Britons now live in cities, “it’s in our brains as part of ourselves, this ideal. It’s like a childhood ideal, in a way.”

The opening ceremony will begin with the tolling of a 27-ton bell forged at London’s 442-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which made London’s Big Ben and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell.

The bell is inscribed with a line from William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” — one of Boyle’s main inspirations for the ceremony — in which Caliban says: “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises.”

“It’s a wonderful thing that we’ll be able to open our games with a symbol of peace, the ringing of a bell,” Boyle said. “You will feel different when you’re in there and you hear it ringing.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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