Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Greatest Show On Earth – London 2012 Opening Ceremony

Last night I was one of the 27.9+ million television viewers watching, quite possibly, the most amazing opening ceremony for any Olympics ever.  Danny Boyle, the master mind director behind it has made a negative nation proud – no mean feat for anyone.

We saw the models of the set, we all commented how it looked like Tellytubby land – but as everything moved, as everything evolved, as everything pulsed, we saw Great Britain.  ‘An opening ceremony’, I remarked earlier this week and again last night, ‘shouldn’t make sense.  It should be a combination of things to do with the host country and leave people scratching their heads.’  Well actually, maybe I was wrong.  This told a story – not some flouncy made up story of a child on a star that leads them to some universe of stilt walkers with silk tails – but of a nation.   Yes it may have left out the negative bits (quell surprise) but it also left out a lot of the great (it was long enough as it was!)  Overall we saw the changes to a country that in term helped shape the world we live in.

As a show it was fantastic.  Amazing music, great visuals, stunning use of lighting technology (all those lights on the seats – wow!) and some fantastic performances.  No one can beat the Queen meeting James Bond – well apart from the actor who played the parachuting Queen that is.  Even Paul McCartney not quite being in time with his click track couldn’t cast darkness over the proceedings.

I cannot forget Mr Bean joining in playing the Chariots of Fire theme as another inspired piece:

And then the all important lighting of the Olympic flame.  I’ve followed that flame online across the country.  I cheered it when I went to see it come through Birmingham, and beamed with pride when I watched a friend’s Mum carry it.  Steve Redgrave was the perfect choice.  It was great when he went to meet Beckham on the boat to get it… but then perfect was improved.  Having seven great Olympians nominate seven up and coming sportsmen and ladies was inspired (Rower Cameron MacRitchie, 19, Sailor Callum Airlie, 17, London 2012 Young Ambassador Jordan Duckitt, 18, Runner Desiree Henry, 16, Runner Katie Kirk, 18, Javelin thrower Aidan Reynolds, 18, Runner Adelle Tracey, 19).  That is the legacy that these Olympics is about.  So not only did us Brits get that bit right, we also had the best cauldron ever.  Made of copper petals representing every nation taking part that once lit rose to create a flaming flower.  Yes it looked a bit like a bonfire in the middle of the stadium but once it’s in its rightful place it’ll be a sight to behold.

Last night I tweeted how proud I was to be British and how it’s so easy to forget the great things that your home country have achieved.  It’s like when tourists come to your city and ask what to do and you can’t give them an answer because you don’t explore where you live.  You think you know it all, but you don’t.  If anything this ceremony made me realise that I don’t know all that much about our history.  I’m aware we haven’t had the best times, but at the same time we’re greater than we allow ourselves to think.  Maybe that is why we are team GB – team GREAT Britain.

 

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Ghost the Musical

With the big press conference last week announcing the Spice Girls musical, the quiet confirmation that Ghost the Musical would be closing in October became louder amongst theatre goers.  Although many knew already, and others had heard rumours before the cast knew there’d been no big announcement and with the show having similar rumours state side (though hopefully with no truth) it could be that the journey for Ghost the Musical is coming to a more permanent end than what would be liked.

Some of you may remember when this blog first started I ranted and raved about this show – before I’d even seen it I was obsessed with the soundtrack and I got a chance to see it in October and loved it.  It’s a fantastic show and I can only recommend that people go see it while they have the chance.  I can only hope it tours as I think it’d do well – though they’d have to compromise with some of the set pieces that are just phenomenal.

Anyway, I wanted to post this blog to say go see it if you have the chance and also to post this video.  When Ghost the Musical first started it really embraced social media.  Before the show even premiered/previewed they streamed a showcase of the soundtrack live from Abbey Road – this video is a highlights package of that:

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How many Shakespeare plays can you name in 2 minutes?

How many Shakespeare plays can you name in 2 minutes?.

Why not try this challenge on my Learning Shakespeare blog? Share how many you can name in a comment.

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