New details emerged today about the Danny-Boyle-curated Olympic opening ceremony, set for 27 July. The film director aims to bring to London that one thing our inner city lacks — the English countryside.
The £27 million, three-hour ceremony will feature pastoral scenes including rural backdrops and real farmyard animals, husbanded by some 10,000 volunteers. According to the BBC:
The set will feature meadows, fields and rivers, with families taking picnics, people playing sports on the village green and farmers tilling the soil.
Rock and roll!
The verdant spectacle will also feature fake clouds a-dangling from on high, one of which will produce rain (insert obvious remark here). Europe's largest bell, cast at the famous Whitechapel Foundry, will also be permanently installed in the stadium, in a section of terrace likely to be dubbed the 'Huge Bell End'. Its tolling will trigger a Shakespeare-themed segment featuring 900 local children.
Pitch-side spectator space will be created in two 'mosh pits' representing Glastonbury and the Proms. We don't yet know how you get tickets for these areas.
Other impressive numbers from the Olympic inventory include some 23,000 costumes, 3,000 props and a capacity audience of 80,000...not to mention the estimated 1 billion people who will watch on TV. Following Boyle's cavalcade, the usual athlete procession and flame ceremony will take place.
It's going to be spectacular and naff at the same time, but we admit to being ever so slightly excited.