Bike sequence cut to ensure opening event ends on time
SCHEDULE CHANGES:A SECTION from the opening ceremony of the London Olympics has been removed to ensure the event finishes on time.
A spokesman for organising committee Locog said a sequence involving stunt bikes would not take place to allow spectators to get home by public transport from the Olympic Stadium.
“Performers are rehearsing sections and transitions to ensure they are as tight as possible . . . We need to make sure the show comes in on time to make sure spectators can get home on public transport, so we have taken the tough decision to cut a small stunt bike sequence of the show. We will be paying contracts in full . . . The show is set to finish between 12am and 12.30am,” he said.
Locog denied that the decision was connected to the G4S security debacle.
An audience of about 62,000 in the stadium in Stratford, east London, and one billion people watching worldwide will see the arena turned into a meadow complete with real animals, grass and clouds that will rain down for the official opening of the games.
Artistic director Danny Boyle said the £27 million (€34.4m) spectacular, which will start at 9pm on July 27th, will display a traditional view of the British countryside, featuring horses, cows and sheep.
Boyle, director of the films Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, is overseeing the ceremony and had joked about asking Underworld, who have written the score, to increase the speed of their music to ensure athletes and officials marched around the stadium at a faster pace.
He is believed to have been annoyed by the last-minute cuts to his show, titled Isles of Wonder after a line in a speech by Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The show will open with an England’s “green and pleasant land” vista but is expected to evolve to take on a more urban hue, designed to reflect “who we were, who we are and who we want to be”.
A spokeswoman said Performers are rehearsing sections and transitions to ensure routines are as tight as possible. This is normal in any production whether it be theatre or ceremonies,
“We need to make sure the show comes in on time to make sure spectators can get home on public transport so we have taken the tough decision to cut a small stunt bike sequence of the show . . . the show is set to finish between 12 and 12.30am.” – (PA/Guardian service)