Oh Danny Boyle, the world has watched Britain in awe
Posted on July 29th, 2012

James Gillespie, Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Kate Mansey  Courtesy The Sunday Times (UK)

The opening ceremony mixed this island’s history, its humour and the Sex Pistols to stun a global audience

IT HAD everything: thunderous music, dancing beds, cycling doves and a first-time actress who stole the show.

Danny Boyle’s £27m opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics had set itself the herculean task of a gallop through British history from a nation of farmers to the industrial revolution, the creation of the National Health Service and on to the internet.

We had been promised magical moments and we got them by the bucketload. The outstanding one came when the Queen appeared in her first acting role and uttered the immortal words, “Good evening, Mr Bond”, to Daniel Craig in a scene filmed at Buckingham Palace.

Boyle must have known he was on to a winner with the Queen, but none of the rest of the remarkable ceremony was a foregone conclusion. Far from it.

In a 3½-hour show, Boyle used 7,500 performers plus geese, carthorses, sheep, cows, helicopters, searchlights, film sequences blending into live shows, stadium lights, a water wheel, 3D effects, speedboats, an orchestra and a 1m-watt sound system to generate an unforgettable spectacle.

Did his gamble pay off?

The simple answer is yes. London really had done it.

Sally Bercow, wife of John, the Commons Speaker, demanded a knighthood for Boyle; David Walliams, the comedian, tweeted “James Bond and Her Majesty the Queen=best thing I have ever seen”, while Kylie Minogue declared the whole spectacle “amaaaaaazing”.

Rob Brydon, the comedian, tweeted: “Well, this is beyond brilliant. Very proud!” and Phillip Schofield, the broadcaster, wrote: “Right here, right now, this is an epic night.”

Paula Radcliffe, the marathon runner, perhaps came closest to the essence of it all when she tweeted: “Nobody does it like Britain “”‚ nobody.”

The Italians agreed. “There is no other place on earth which can stage the story of a fairytale with a real queen,” said Concita De Gregorio in La Repubblica.

Yesterday, as people began heading to the Olympic events, the talk on the buses, trains and in the stands was of a new sense of national pride after the ceremony.

9 Responses to “Oh Danny Boyle, the world has watched Britain in awe”

  1. Marco Says:

    It was a marvelous spectacle.
    Only the “extremist” would whinge about too much multi-culturalism.
    Even the Chinese state news agency Xinhau praised the opening, saying the whole world “appreaciates a sumptuous banqquet of British culture”.
    The Chinese who earlier protested and attempted to walk out on seeing the Taiwanese flag flying in the village only to back out, have know commissioned a British theatre producer to put on a stage version of the Olympics opening ceremony for Chinese audiences encapsulating the rolling British countryside set with farmyard animals, Industrail revolution, Internet and a cricket match.

  2. S de Silva Says:

    Well done Dany Boyle but just one vital phase of the British phase was missing in the condensed historical version of Danny Boyle! There was nothing on the Brits going round the World and illegally taking over foreign lands and creating issues for the natives, but that would have been a bit distasteful to mention in the liberal times of 2012 and best left out!! – S de Silva – London

  3. Geeth Says:

    Valid point S. De Silva. The history of the Brits can never be separated from their history of plunder, mayhem, the crimes against humanity and the suffering they unleashed against others all over the world. That is the reason why I said in my comment in the other article that I agree with the Italians. They had said… “There is no other place on earth which can stage the story of a fairytale with a real queen,” LOL!!! Ha! Ha!!
    Yes the story of a fairy-tale…with a real queen.!!!!

  4. Marco Says:

    All countries (nations) have histories that they wish to forget and move on.
    Do the French, Greeks, Americans, Brits, Russians or even the Chinese( who continue to plunder their own people) showcase their history they be ashamed of?If you want to live the past and continue to have a “chip” good luck!

    Take a leaf out the Indians, they have turned this whole “white” supremacy colonial crap over its head and able to dictate over its past “masters”.
    Strangely, i know of a few Sri Lankans who have done the same based on the principal “you don’t rule me anymore” instead of wallowing in the past but using it to their advantage.

  5. Marco Says:

    Wasn’t it clever of Jerome Taylor of the Independent (cahoots with unknown “individuals” in UK) to leak a story to test the waters? At least Sri Lankan and British tax payers money were not wasted.
    Bandula Jayasekera is learning fast!

  6. Marco Says:

    Sri Lanka Rupavahini Is Not Allowed To Enter 2012 Olympic Opening

    Let’s hear the official and unofficial reasons for it!

  7. Geeth Says:

    @ Macco,
    “All countries (nations) have histories that they wish to forget and move on. Do French, American the… Brits… showcase their history they are ashamed of?” Absolutely don’t!

    It’s true; nobody wants to showcase their history that they are ashamed of. If the history is full of crimes and atrocities unleashed upon others, then of course they only can create a fairytales, but in this case with a real queen. So please don’t get freaked out when the victims of British atrocities have to say something. On the other hand, it is easy for the criminal to forget all the heinous crimes of his past although it’s much difficult for the victim of his crimes to do it.

    However, when it comes to Brits, they are not ashamed of their history full of corpses of others, and not even they regret of their crimes. But in contrary, they are well prepared to commit even more heinous crimes than in their past. Take the example of British attitude toward Sri Lanka? How can you explain about that?

    Don’t put Brits in par with Indians, and never even compare success of very few Indians in the western hemisphere or in India taking the large majority of Indians living under the poverty line to account in India. You cannot measure success of India just by looking at very posh few Indians traveling in Rolls-Royce in the west either.

    Can Brits extend an apology for the crimes against humanity they committed in colonial Ceylon? Read this following article of Janaka Perera. We can see if the Brits are so forgiving and forgetting bunch of criminals or its opposite.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/07/29/coming-to-terms-with-sri-lankas-colonial-past-call-for-justice-after-500-years/

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Where is Tamil Elam team?

    Tamil Elam soccer team played in STATELESS WORLD CUP early this year! :))

    Poor losers. They protested in vain!

    Micro brains!

  9. Geeth Says:

    @ Macco,
    “All countries (nations) have histories that they wish to forget and move on. Do French, American the… Brits… showcase their history they are ashamed of?” Absolutely don’t!

    It’s true; nobody wants to showcase their history that they are ashamed of. If the history is full of crimes and atrocities unleashed upon others, then of course they only can create a fairytales, but in this case with a real queen. So please don’t get freaked out when the victims of British atrocities have to say something. On the other hand, it is easy for the criminal to forget all the heinous crimes of his past although it’s much difficult for the victim of his crimes to do it.

    However, when it comes to Brits, they are not ashamed of their history full of corpses of others, and not even they regret of their crimes. But in contrary, they are well prepared to commit even more heinous crimes than in their past. Take the example of British attitude toward Sri Lanka? How can you explain about that?

    Don’t put Brits in par with Indians, and never even compare success of very few Indians in the western hemisphere or in India taking the large majority of Indians living under the poverty line to account in India. You cannot measure success of India just by looking at very posh few Indians traveling in Rolls-Royce in the west either.

    Can Brits extend an apology for the crimes against humanity they committed in colonial Ceylon? Please read the article of Janaka Perera on Lankaweb. In near future we can see if the Brits are so forgiving and forgetting bunch of criminals or its opposite kind.

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