Beijing’s curtain raiser featured 2008 pounding drummers and a cauldron-lighter who appeared to float in the air of the Bird’s Nest stadium. London will have 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens and nine geese recruited by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle with a cast and crew of 10,000 to present a quirky, humorous and vibrant vision of classic Britain, its history and future.
In representing Britain, Boyle has drawn from William Shakespeare, British pop culture, literature and music and other sources of stimulation that will speak not just to Anglophiles but to people across the globe. One segment includes actor Daniel Craig’s James Bond and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney will lead a sing-along.
Thousands of athletes and performers, some 60,000 spectators will pack the Olympic Stadium. Political leaders from around the world, US first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters and a sprinkle of European and celebrity royalty will also attend.
According to the reports, one section will feature characters from children’s fiction classics comprising Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and a showdown between Lord Voldemort, the villain of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books and a group of flying magical nannies based on Mary Poppins.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that “I would have thought the difficulty is how you cram in all that is great about our country. Whether it is sport, art, literature, history, contribution to world events, there are so many things to celebrate about our country that packing all that in to these hours must be a pretty tough task. But I am confident they have done a good job.”
The most understandable legacy for London is Olympic Park, with the 80,000-capacity stadium that will host the opening ceremony and other latest venues.
The monarch will officially open the games at Friday’s ceremony that will begin at 9 PM (British time) with the sound of a 27-ton bell forged at the 442-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which made London’s Big Ben and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell.