An Olympic Education by Danny Boyle at London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Games Have Begun!

At last the London Olympic games have started and we can begin to enjoy the events.  There has been so much build up and excitement to the games and the whole of the UK has been involved it seems.  I for one, and many of my students, had a wonderful day when the Olympic torch was carried through my town centre!

I was surprised that Danny Boyle had been chosen to direct the opening ceremony.  He is a wonderful director of many great films though not an obvious or safe choice!  However, the ceremony was spectacular, very British with a twist and thoroughly entertaining.

Highlighting the history of Great Britain using fantastic props, and a very well selected catalogue of British music was inspired.  The volunteers did an amazing job and must have rehearsed for hours – how did they keep that a secret?  The industrial revolution segment was amazing.

Very funny and totally surprising moments included Mr Bean playing with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra in a rendition of “Chariots of Fire” and James Bond escorting the Queen to the games, parachute and all!

It was marvellous to see the National Health Service and Great Ormond Street Hospital getting some recognition and I had no idea when watching that the dancers/actors were actually mostly NHS employees who had been sworn to secrecy.


I was then absolutely delighted to see the tribute to British literature, especially childrens’ books being highlighted.  Watching visual images of Mary Poppins and Harry Potter and listening to J K Rowling reading a passage from J M Barrie’s Peter Pan was wonderful.  Children’s literacy and education is an area that I am passionate about and I applaud Danny Boyle for including this in the show.  I am very proud to be British but can I just mention that J M Barrie and J K Rowling are also Scottish?

An Interview with Danny Boyle

The day after the ceremony I obviously read a lot of articles about the success of the Opening Ceremony but I also stumbled upon this interview with Danny Boyle explaining his vision.  Read full article here.

Speaking before the spectacular began, 55-year-old Danny told how he set the  scene with an impression of England’s green and pleasant land.

He said: “It is something which is deeply embedded in our consciousness. We  represent it in a kind of lovely, quirky way.

“Then it becomes part of a much bigger sequence with the transformation into  the industrial revolution.

“It is begun by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who represents the genius engineering  that is present in our country”.

He then goes on to talk about all of the segments in the show.

My Favourite Quote from Danny Boyle

“We wanted to show the delight and importance of reading and writing. If you can read and write, you are free — or you can fight for your freedom”.

I love this!  Thank you Danny Boyle for directing such a wonderful show and highlighting childrens’ literature and what Great Britain is all about!  You have won many Oscars and I am sure you will win many more accolades for the London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Now I have to work out how to watch all my favourite events!

What Did you Think?

Did you watch the London 2012 Opening Ceremony?  What did you think of the show?  Do you think Danny will get a knighthood for this?  Could we be referring to him as Sir Danny soon?  According to this article by a tabloid paper bookies are slashing the odds.  Please feel free to leave a comment.


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