This is a review blog and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review an event that occurs only once every four years, the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. After the incredible opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, London had a lot to live up to. I thought they did a marvellous job.
It began with a trip from the end of the Thames, through the countryside, into London and then the stadium. Just before the stadium was reached a poster from every Olympic Games from the first one in Athens was shown; I thought this was pretty cool. The show started with the meadows of Great Britain before the industrial revolution. It was accompanied by beautiful music from each of the countries of the United Kingdom; England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Then the industrial revolution began. The green fields, crops, fences and bushed were replaced by giant towers of smoke and blackened cobblestone. This was accompanied by loud drumming that suited the mood perfectly. I loved the costumes in this part. It was a great way of displaying the UK’s history.
Then, the drumming and movement stops, as everyone looks towards a poppyfield to remember those who have died in war. A beautiful, sad song playing in the background. The bustle begins again with drums, and construction continues. Soon after, construction starts on the five Olympic rings which are beautifully ‘smelted’ and then lifted into the sky. This beginning of the ceremony probably had the best music of the whole thing.
Taking a dramatic and hilarious turn, the Queen and James Bond fly into the stadium in a helicopter and parachute down into the stadium. It was very corny but also pretty funny. The flag was then raised as a choir of deaf and hearing-impaired children. I thought they wouldn’t be very good but they actually were.
Then there was a rowing dance to celebrate the NHS (National Health Service) with the song Tubular Bells playing in the background. Then, J.K. Rowling reads Peter Pan to the children and some classic ‘bad guys’ emerge including a 100 foot giant Voldemort. Several Mary Poppins’ then come to the rescue and save the children, and they continue to dance happily. A giant, sleeping baby then appeared which really creeped me out. I didn’t like it at all.
The great Mr. Bean was up next. Everyone loves Mr. Bean and he didn’t disappoint for this, showing his usual humour. It was brilliant and very funny. It was amazing to see him being so ridiculous at the Opening Ceremony, an event that is shown around the world.
The next scene is a representation of the London lifestyle and English youth, as well as a tribute to British music through the ages and overall, the invention of the world wide web. It really made me want to party (something that I rarely want to do). Then there was a rather confusing tribute to those who were no longer here to see the Games and a sad song and interpretive dance representing the border on death and life.
Each of the countries coming at was just as it usually is, except with every country there was a child carrying a metal petal. I didn’t know what it was for until I saw the final Olympic torch being lit. It was such a cool idea, one petal, and one fire, from every country coming together as one. It was such an awesome symbolism that almost brought a tear to my eye.
While it was not as perfectly choreographed and didn’t have as many people involved as the previous Opening Ceremony, this one was far more emotive and beautiful as well as being humorous at times. It made me feel proud, sad, excited and just plain happy. One of the reasons I didn’t like it though, was because there was no mention of the famous and very British Sherlock Holmes! Despite this, it was amazing.