I was luckily enough to have a ticket for last night’s technical rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games! So, what can I tell you? Danny Boyle, the amazingly talented film director of Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting and 127 hours who is running the show, pleaded with us to Save The Surprise with twitter hashtags on big screens all around the stadium. So, what to do? Do what the man says of course…
However, I was in the Olympic Park and in the Olympic Stadium on a brilliantly sunny afternoon so let me show you what it’s like and give you just a few hints about the show, along with a couple of top tips if you are going to visit over the next few weeks.
I took the tube to Stratford following the signs, the crowds and the instructions from the many folks on duty at the station and very soon we reached the entrance. There was a bit of a queue before the gates opened but the excitement was high so we Brits just got on with it. Once the gates pulled back, however, it was very smooth and we sailed through the security which was airport style. Then we were in and the buzz was amazing.
Contrary to reports, there is plenty of non-McDonalds food of a very British style – fish and chips, Indian and pies along with sandwiches and roasts and a bar of course. Strangely McDonalds was shut yesterday! My top tip is to take or buy water as the water fountains advertised are few and far between and had the biggest queues of all. In fact queues for food and drinks were big. There are benches to sit on tho’ I’m not sure how much fun it would be in the rain…
The stadium looks wonderful and Orbit, love or hate it, is really impressive close-up. We could wander around much of the Olympic site but the northern section was still closed to visitors.
Inside, the stadium is huge but views are good from where ever you are. It’s on what they call Stadium Island, past a second ticket check, where there is more catering along the same lines as outside. The one place there were no queues at all were the toilets which was a welcome surprise. I can’t show any photos of the inside of the stadium as it was all dressed for the first section….. But here it is on the way home, looking amazing at night:
Then the show began and although it was not the full line up yet as several videos and some of the performances were not in last night, nor was the parade of athletes naturally, it was wonderful – strange in parts and absolutely brilliant in others. The movement of huge numbers of performers, the incredible scene changes, the fabulous music, the imagination – wow! You’ll have to watch it on Friday to learn more as my lips are sealed – save the surprise…
It’s nearly time for the Olympics to start and you can feel the excitement and tension rising in London. It’s getting really busy and a few things are not working yet but the sun has finally come out. Are you ready? I am!
Bye for now,