Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Olympics Are Finally Here!

After years of preparation and build-up, the 2012 Olympic Games have finally arrived in London!

The opening ceremony yesterday evening was fantastic - so different from the last one in Beijing, but equally mesmerising and memorable. I just kept thinking, I wish I had been part of the costume team!

I have to admit, at first I found the pastoral English country scene a little cringe-worthy... from a costume point of view it was great, but was it really the way to present the modern, worldly, 2012 Great Britain to the rest of the world? Not really...

But then, in a sudden change into organised chaos, the scene began to unfold and slowly draw in the audience. As the fields of grass were rolled away and towering chimneys rose from underground, it dawned on us! They were telling the story of Britain! Suddenly it all made sense!

So, with hundreds of people dressed in medieval costume, Victorian dress, nurses, children, monsters and some Mary Poppins too, it must have been an incredible project for the wardrobe team. There were about 10,000 costumes (designed by Suttirat Larlarb, who worked with Danny Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire), worked on by only about 150 volunteers. Read an interview with Suttirat Larlarb at Time.com .

Since Friday night's spectacular performance, some props and costume pieces have found their way onto Ebay, the online selling site. According to the Telegraph, an 'Industrial Revolution' costume was on sale for £2500, while other outfits such as a 'Male Nurse' costume or '1990s Fluorescent Outfit' were going for around £2000! The volunteers were told that their costumes belonged to them after the show, and they were free to do what they liked with them, so I'm not too upset that people are making the most of this opportunity. Some volunteers have expressed anger concerning these actions, but you know, we have to understand that not everybody appreciates owning a full Victorian costume - to some it just takes up valuable space in their wardrobe!

Anyway, had it been me I would have definitely kept my costume, but more importantly I would have signed up to volunteer backstage, had my birthday been in January rather than March!

Did you volunteer for the Olympics in London, whether behind the scenes or in front of the 80,000 strong audience? Or were you part of that huge audience? Of course, the ceremony was broadcast world-wide to millions of people, so tell me what you thought of it in the comments!

(Images from BBC photo gallery)

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