The London 2012 Opening Ceremony - Big Screens

Remember China? Before the Olympics the stadiums weren’t finished, there was apparently a three mile toxic cloud that had to be moved, there was criticism of China’s appalling human rights and working conditions. But then the Games began! And the opening ceremony started - with the crazy drummers and the globe walking and the calligraphy thing and the dancers in boxes! And everybody was like: “You know what? You know what? If forced labour got that done, God bless. Because you know why, those dancing boxes didn’t miss a fucking beat.
- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

For a long time after London took the Olympic baton from Beijing with a toe-curling display of theatre school kids, dancing lollipop ladies and a Leona Lewis / Jimmy Page team-up we were dreading this day: The Olympic Opening Ceremony. We do not have a promising track record with this sort of stuff: The wobbly dragon at EURO 96 was a national embarrassment, the Millennial River of Fire managed to be less impressive than a set of indoor fireworks.

Then in January we heard Danny Boyle explain that our opening cermony would feature sheep and artificial meadow and we were reassured by his warm Lancastrian tones, and by his colleague who said that the thing to remember about opening ceremonies was that no-one ever wished them longer. Since then, we've heard from a few people involved with the show or who've been to the rehearsals and they promise it's going to be awesome to the max.

So now the question is where to watch it? There are two big outdoor screenings nearby.

Blackheath will host the Lewisham Big Screen, with a funfair, Spiegel tent and ready access to the Hare and Billet:

 

Meanwhile, the Brockley Market team have been poached to provide food for the Greenwich Summer Festival at the Royal Naval College, complete with Big Screen and "a dazzling Aerial Circus Show performed by Greenwich’s very own Hangar Arts Trust plus live music on the Bandstand." Brockley Market will be on as usual tomorrow.

What are you planning?

38 comments:

Family man said...

Which one is best for families including a baby?

Anonymous said...

Does that mean no Brockley Market yummies tomorrow?

Brockley Nick said...

No, doesn't effect the market. Have updated the article to make that clear.

Siobhan Sharpe said...

Awsome! Lets roll this turtle out. Get it ORRRNNNN.

Anonymous said...

Yup, we LOVE ceremonies. Go Danny, yay!

Siobhan Sharpe said...

Blackheath Big Screen? Way to go!
Greenwich? Way to go!

emmajem said...

I am now, officially, extremely excited

jaffa said...

Family man, sorry no wants babies there. Stay at home.

honor oak bark said...

Ha ha, like you'll HEAR the babies over the PA system delivering the amplified sound of 10,000 performers, a sky full of press helicopters, and the financial equivalent of the combined GDP's of several small European states in fireworks.

I was lucky enough to see Wednesday's rehearsal and seriously Jaffa, it'll make you well up and wish that you'll one day have grandchildren to tell about it.
I'm taking our toddler so that we can tell her when she's older that she was there... so if you see a bemused squirt dipping her oatcakes in organic humous steer clear, she's attack-trained to smear her garlicky mitts all over the clobber of anyone who tuts within a 40 pace radius...

Anonymous said...

While we're on the subject, what's with those people who insist on bringing their kids to a wedding?

Brockley Nick said...

Oh do shut up. Back to the Olympics everyone!!! W00t!!! W00t!!!

Tamsin said...

Don't know the details but the Hill Station is taking advantage of now having a licence for late openings and occasional alcohol to be screening it there.

I'll be at home where you can control the volume - but am looking forward to it (I think). The costumes looked a bit shambolic on the newsclip of people coming away from a rehearsal last week.

HOB said...

Lay in the nibbles and look forward to it Tamsin- what we saw on Wednesday was incredible!

Anonymous said...

actually that's a good question which is the better location for families, Greenwich or Blackheath?

Brockley Nick said...

I think they are both pretty well geared to families, although it sounds as though Blackheath has a little more to offer the kids.

I'd just go for whichever sounds nicest / most convenient to you. Kids will be happy either way.

Anonymous said...

At home tonight but I'll go to Greenwich on some of the days. I have my Team GB wristbands, Wenlock fridge magnet and flags. I am Games ready! Bring them on!

Anonymous said...

Is there anywhere that's not geared towards families so I can go to that instead?

Maybe Alby's has a flat screen...

Brockley Nick said...

The Gantry is showing it. I'm sure all the other pubs in the area with screens will too.

Moira said...

The Brockley Max team is holding the Creative Emporium from Thur 2nd Aug - Wed 8th Aug with children's arts and crafts workshops from 10am - 8pm. And we'll have a crafts market selling work by local artists and craftspeople.
www.brockleymax.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Yup, Olympic spirit unites the nation for one big party...

pip said...

Was going to watch it at home but now thinking about persuading the family that we should go to Blackheath.

Very very excited.

Fong said...

I'm performing in it. Very excited too!

Anon2012 said...

Watching DVD of Beijing opening ceremony to get in the mood. It's impressive but reckon London will top it. Very very excited!

Game said...

Just awesome!

Tamsin said...

Second that - heap impressed. Something for everyone and excellent TV coverage. Although you could see the fireworks from the corner of Sandbourne Road - made possibly by LBL having the prescience to over-prune the trees last year.

Tamsin said...

Second that - heap impressed. Something for everyone and excellent TV coverage. Although you could see the fireworks from the corner of Sandbourne Road - made possibly by LBL having the prescience to over-prune the trees last year.

Moi said...

Excellent tv coverage except for Trevor Nelson, that is... You'd think after the jubilee commentary fiasco the BBC would have been extra-specially careful about who they chose!

Anonymous said...

It was great until it turned a bit Eurovision at the end with all the countries. One of the countries was described as being "about more than genocide"!

Watched it on TV so thankfully no kids present :)

Anonymous said...

It was a good show, loved the torch, very clever. And the surreal winged cyclists at the end. Lots of wackiness and eccentricity and humour. The lighting system was brilliant.

Mr Boyle seems to have fulfilled his brief to everyones satisfaction.

The parade of athletes had me wondering about some of the more obscure countries.

Any suggestions for courageous underdogs to support?

max said...

The opening ceremony was as good as a ceremoney can possibly be.
I called my Mum's doctor in Italy this morning and he only wanted to speak about the Olympics.
Only naff moment of the ceremony was Seb Coe's speech, I bet he wrote it himself.

Anonymous said...

The children's choir singing in yellow t-shirts are local children

ALittleInTheKnow said...

And some Lewisham children performing with LPO

Anonymous said...

We are planning to go to blackheath at the weekend. We will be with my elder parents and our children, the youngest of whom is nearly three. Can anyone advise whether this is a good plan? We are worried about parking for starters and whether there is space for chairs for my parents. What is the set up, please? Thank you.

kolp said...

It was great. The Opening ceremony was a major event, so loads of people. All sorts of family arrangements there. Probably best not to bring a buggy, just for freedom of movement, the grass is uneven. But no problem if you do.

Get there early to get a good spot in front of the screen. Bring deckchairs. There is food to buy, we had a flask of cocoa.

Again get there as soon as the parking restrictions are lifted and you should find a space nearby or else park a bit further away.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks Kolp. That was really useful.

Any other thoughts, anyone?

christine said...

The lighting would really have a great effect on the audience. They audience will get to feel what you want them to feel through proper lighting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13.33
This Saturday will be a big family day so it should be fun. Parking is always a problem on Blackheath but there is free parking on Cade Road on the other side of the heath. There's loads of space but no chairs provided.

Tamsin said...

For those on the Telegraph Hill / New Cross side of things the 53 bus goes straight over the Heath (I don't think it has been diverted).

Locally and low key there's a "Fun Day" in the Telegraph Hill Centre with egg and spoon type races you can join in and a table tennis tournament as well as a medium sized screen

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