Olympic opening ceremony plans to be a ‘mythical’ tribute to everything British

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Danny Boyle plans to recreate everything British - from green fields to grey, rainy skies - in a dramatic Olympics ceremony costing £27m

    Danny Boyle is creating a homage to everything British in his spectacular Olympic opening ceremony display.

    The stadium will be transformed into ‘a green and pleasant land’ – complete with real animals, grass, soil and even rain – in tribute to William Blake’s hymn Jerusalem.

    Boyle, director of British films Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, says ‘the meadow represents the British countryside. You get on a train from London to Manchester and you can see it still exists even if it is slowly disappearing, and it is part of all four home nations.

    If it fails to rain on the day, Boyle has a back-up plan of ‘real cloud’ installations that will bring down showers, evoking the authentic British climate. ‘They will be real clouds that will be hanging over the stadium. Work that out if you can.’

    Four maypoles will be scattered throughout the stadium with children dancing, while 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 ducks, 10 chickens, 9 geese, 70 sheep and 3 sheep dogs perform in the opening scene.

    The £27m extravaganza will also feature two mosh pits, one with a Last Night of the Proms theme and the other as a festival, compete with a replica of the Glastonbury Tor.  

    As for the accompanying music, Sir Paul McCartney has confirmed he will be appearing and it is thought that British acts such as Take That may also take part, although the line-up has not been finalised.

    Boyle wants to create a cinematic feel using two short films from the BBC. ‘We’re trying to make you feel like you’re watching a film being made. It feels like when you’re planning a big sequence in a film.’

    The highlight of the Olympic ceremony will be a giant bell that will ring throughout the stadium.


    Reading now