Anorak | London Olympics Opening Ceremony: The Tempest, The NHS and Fearful Noises

London Olympics Opening Ceremony: The Tempest, The NHS and Fearful Noises

by | 27th, January 2012

WILL the London Olympics opening ceremony compete with the magnificence on show in China (and lose) or do what the country does best: innovation, wit, design, protest, self-awareness and style? Well, the ceremony will begin with a big ding-dong from a 27-tonne bell (inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Tempest). On the bell is the legend: “Be not afear the Isle is full of noises.

Danny Boyle says of his £28m The Isle of Wonders show:

“It’s poisoned land — an industrial legacy we all have a responsibility for as urban dwellers…. [It will] capture something unique about Britain and our sense of humour. The idea will make sense. I thought we shouldn’t make any details available to keep it all as a surprise, but you can’t do that these days.”

After the bell comes not the lowering of a huge Orwellian camera but the smily, well-fed children and the starched NHS nurses. It is, say he creators, a “journey“.

All that’s missing is the, er, sport.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt is the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said:

“There will never be another opportunity like this in our history. It isn’t just about the ceremonies, it’s about how competently we put on the biggest sporting event on the planet. I see it as a great business opportunity — businesses are choosing where to invest, students where to study . . . if you get the Olympic opening ceremony right, you strengthen your national brand. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

You are not citizen nor subjects. You are part of the brand. You are shop assistants. Sport is not a thing to lift the soul and bejewel your life in pits and peaks of pain and glory. It’s a marketing opportunity. So. Clear the steps of St Paul’s. Re-paint East London. Set all the traffic lights to green. Show the foreigners a fantasy picture of a country where everyone sings with once voice and protests and dissent are non-existent. We should be delighted in what Great Britain is and of our freedom – but our government is scared of showing the truth. They only want to show the foreigners the front of the shop. They should throw open the doors and show them the lot.

Do not be afeared of the nosies – it’s just the man with the jetwash removing the stains…


Britain’s Sir Frederick Wells, Lord Mayor of London, top of podium holds the Olympic Flag, whilst behind him Sigried Edstrom, President of the International Committee closes the XIV Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 14, 1948. Standing in front of podium is Lord Burghley, Chairman of the organising committee of the London Olympics. Royal State Trumpeters wait to play a fanfare, left. (AP Photo)

Posted: 27th, January 2012 | In: Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink