IT is jolly decent of the London Olympics organisers to give film director Danny Boyle a £27 million budget to turn the opening ceremony into a comedy.
I had planned to give the show a miss, fearing a procession of cockney pearly kings and queens, not to mention Boris Johnson playing whiff-whaff, or ping-pong as normal people call it. It now appears to be a must-view.
You may recall a couple of great sporting moments from Boyle's movie Trainspotting, when Ewan MacGregor did a gold medal dive into a manky cludgie in search of an opium suppository. And his bull's eye (more accurately a pit bull's backside) in the air rifle-shooting discipline.
Boyle has revealed that the opening scenes will turn the Olympic stadium into a parody of England's green and pleasant land with meadows, fields and rivers. There will be a cricket match, children dancing around maypoles, families picnicking and farmers tilling the soil. Real sheep will gambol. Cows, horses, goats, chickens and ducks will do whatever they do in the way of frolicking.
If it does not rain on the night, precipitation will be provided by artificial clouds strung over the stadium. The athletes will parade around what appears to be a flooded version of the M25 motorway. There is speculation that later scenes will have the green and pleasant land taken over by dark satanic mills. Boyle's inspiration is Caliban, the monster from Shakespeare's The Tempest. There will be some input from Frankenstein. Throw into the melting pot the fact that the first and major influence on film-maker Boyle was Apocalypse Now.
The concluding part is to be a pastiche of Cool Britannia including James Bond and a helicopter. I just hope Boyle manages to fit in a scene with London mayor Boris wearing Union Jack shorts and riding a bike.
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