At last, the talking is over, now it is for real. The Olympics are open and what a show to kick it all off. Danny Boyle has just written his name into the annals of Olympic history, having directed a most spectacular opening ceremony. He showcased all that was good about Britain with a show of breathtaking scenery and stunning imagery.
From the opening set on England’s green and pleasant land, accompanied by a beautiful acoustic rendition of Jerusalem, he delved into a rich tapestry of vintage British history and heritage, moving seamlessly through the Industrial Revolution, the World Wars, the 50s and 60s right up to the modern day.
The forces and the NHS were rightly commended for their contribution to the British way of life, and music, film, comedy and children’s entertainment were similarly lauded with no little humour. The Queen greeting James Bond in the Palace was a masterstroke and the intervention of Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean into Chariots of Fire was similarly inspired.
The detail was of a man of perfection yet never losing sight of the bigger picture. The overall feeling was of a proud nation, and rightly so too, both comfortable with it’s past yet always pushing boundaries to discover the future.
The music was always engaging and at times deeply atmospheric and moving, no better symbolised than Emile Sande’s spellbinding rendition of Abide With Me. Similarly the choreography throughout was simply stunning and with what seemed like hundreds of people performing at any one time, it really was an incredible feat. Such inspiring performances all went to create a feel good factor that spread throughout the stadium and no doubt across the land.
The grand finale did not disappoint. The symbolism of the flame being passed by the great British Olympians of the past to the new generation of seven young aspiring athletes was not lost on the audience. Indeed it was wholeheartedly embraced and, as each lit a single flame, it marked the beginning of a triumphant journey into the future. It was inspired. This is where dreams are made.
28 July 2012