Opening Ceremony rehearsal – no spoilers here!
25 July 2012
Pamela Agar, Head of Digital and Creative Media (Communications and Development), shares her experiences of going to the technical rehearsal of the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 23 July:
“At times, it’s felt like I’m in the minority for being ridiculously excited about my city hosting the Games – but sitting in the new Olympic Stadium on Monday evening with 60,000 other enthusiastic people reminded me of how hotly the event is anticipated.
Lucky enough to have been given a ticket to the technical rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony by my husband, a 2012 volunteer, I travelled to the Olympic Park leaving plenty of time spare for the much hyped traffic and security chaos. My journey from South London was surprisingly smooth and the security screening fast, friendly and efficient, leaving me lots of time to explore.
I’d been to the Olympic Park much earlier in the year, to see the cycling and diving test events, but much of the area was still a building site. What a transformation! The glorious sunshine helped present the Park at its very best – and I was surprised to see so many beautiful wild flower banks framing the walkways and the dramatic architecture of the Stadium and Orbit.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the rehearsal itself – it was quite a surreal experience as some parts of the Ceremony were being kept strictly under wraps and were consequently missing, leaving odd gaps. Following Danny Boyle’s social media plea to #savethesurprise – I won’t divulge any details of what I did see. But I can say that I found it spectacular, moving, sometimes confusing (I think I might need Huw Edwards’s BBC commentary to help me follow the story!), funny and very British! I can’t wait to see it in its entirety on TV on Friday evening.
I couldn’t help but laugh when the first announcement at the end of the show was an alert that the Central Line was suspended – can’t help wonder if it was a TfL test to see how the network would cope after a major event in the Olympic Park. As it happened, leaving the Park was just like leaving any large scale venue – lots of slow shuffling towards the local station – but generally quite efficient. I was back home 90 minutes after leaving my seat.
I can’t wait to get back to the Park next week for competition. Monday has left me even more excited – and very proud of it!”
Read more stories about the London 2012 Olympics