Writing History: The Opening Ceremony in its Author’s Words

Are you looking forward to the Olympic Closing Ceremony this weekend, and wondering if it can possibly match the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony two weeks ago?

The Reader Organisation’s patron extraordinaire Frank Cottrell Boyce was one of creative minds behind the Opening Ceremony and he has written an article for ‘Thinking ‘Faith’, highlighting the some of his most memorable moments in the run-up to the big event. He also gives a few hints as to what we might witness on Sunday night.

For Frank, the most important aspect was not the show’s content, but that everyone watching would share that experience together.

One evening, some months ago: I was alone on the platform at Bromley-by-Bow when it was invaded suddenly by hundreds of volunteers heading home from their rehearsal for the Olympic Opening Ceremony: Londoners of every shape, size, age, race and ability, each carrying a little bottle of water, piled onto the train, laughing and chatting. A party on rails, what Larkin called ‘a frail/ Travelling coincidence’. As, station by station, the party disintegrated, to quote Larkin again, ‘what it held/ Stood ready to be loosed with all the power / That being changed can give’. I had a really strong sense that all the ideas we had had and work we had done for the ceremony were just a pretext. What mattered was the way the event would bring people together, either as participants or spectators: being together was the most important thing.

You can read the full article here.

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