This is it! Today is the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, and as of 9:45pm (GMT) the Summer Games will have begun.
People from all corners of the globe have been preparing for this – not just the athletes we’ve been featuring recently, but organisers and fans.
Acclaimed British director Danny Boyle will be beckoning the Games with the final hour of the opening ceremony. Best known for his films Slumdog Millionaire (which won eight Oscars in 2009), Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, Boyle has been tackling a very different beast when putting together the opening stadium show.
Last year, Danny Boyle directed an adaptation of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein at London’s National Theatre. The show quickly sold out and won a lot of critically acclaim. But as well as thrilling audiences in a live-action setting, this was also a good place to try out concepts for the Olympic opener.
Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, described Boyle has having ‘massive conceptual and visual panache and an old-fashioned showman’s flair for the big gesture’. So we’re in good hands then.
Danny Boyle’s heritage is rooted in Ireland, his mother came from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway and in a global event filled with them, he is wearing the badge of a ‘Man of Action’ well. He accepted the opportunity to direct the opening ceremony ‘without any hesitation at all’, and can already see the level of success that all involved have achieved:
It’s difficult to place Boyle’s works in a particular genre, which is a quality. One thing is for certain, though, all of pieces share a sense of spectacle and imagination that have captured audiences. And with an expected 1 billion viewers today, that quality will be paramount.