Skip to main content

Performers arrive at the Olympic Stadium for opening ceremony rehearsals for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 15, 2012, in London.

Associated Press

Organizers for the London Olympics have cut the opening ceremony by about 30 minutes over fears the program would run too long for spectators and athletes.

The $42-million ceremony in the Olympic stadium is being produced by film director Danny Boyle, famous for Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, and is titled Isles of Wonder. Games organizers worried the production would go far beyond midnight making it too late for 80,000 spectators and athletes. As a result, a bicycle stunt has been axed.

"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," a Games spokesman told the Guardian newspaper. "We will be paying contracts in full and giving full credit in the program. The show is set to finish between 12 and 12:30 a.m."

Story continues below advertisement

The International Olympic Committee had also been pressing organizers to make the ceremony shorter in order to ensure athletes got enough sleep.

Mr. Boyle has spent months working on a 90-minute opening which starts at 9 p.m. next Friday and includes the ringing of the world's largest harmonically-tuned bell, inscribed with a quote from Shakespeare's The Tempest. There will also be a performance from Paul McCartney, a cast of thousands and an opening sequence entitled "Green and Pleasant" featuring an idyllic view of Britain with farmers, green pastures, 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, ducks, eight geese, 70 sheep and three dogs.

The program is followed by the parade of athletes from 204 countries, which could also take at least 90 minutes.

Top tickets for the event are going for more than $3,000.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading…

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.