Opening Up

Where does one begin with yesterday's Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games? The wealth of imagery, and surprising education, that was injected into Isles of Wonder presented the trials and tribulations of British social history (and its global repercussions) - three centuries condensed into a three hour performance under the artistic direction over the last four years of Danny Boyle - captivated the world, as well as the British who now have a clear reflection in the pool of identity to look at. 
A formula of all three British traits; wit, spectacle and class, were not enough for the greatest show on earth. With the addition of a good helping of bonkers, or should I say Bond-kers, it was a unique ceremony with loaded juxtaposition of both the familiar and new introductions of brand GB that Boyle unashamedly offered on a molten platter to the sweet teeth of the world. This morning an American reporter commented on how Americans felt at home on British soil due to the growing closeness of popular culture and celebrity, that some will say is unfortunately shared in equal measure across the Atlantic. After yesterday night, twenty-first century America may feel differently towards a nation that is so drowning in iconic history, the Opening Ceremony could have lasted a whole week if it were possible due to Boyle's selective choice, and we even have our very own Abraham Lincoln in the shape of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, or Kenneth Branagh if all of this detail is getting too much for you. Given that thousands were invited to the technical rehearsals earlier this week, one can add another trait to being British: keeping a secret. Paramount to any Olympic Opening Ceremony is the power of image above the word; it was an evening of open access for all into the host nation's visual archives - from the private apartments of Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace, as well as a taste of her humour, to the core of the British psyche - a brand so complex it will have curious tourists wanting more for years to come. I am not going to attempt to tackle Boyle's narrative - you only need to access the global press to read credit and critique in every possible language - here's my humble take on a remarkably humbling night to remember...

An Artist's vision with an epic tale of British history to tell, featuring icons across eras and the everyday: priceless. 

On Her Majesty's Secret Service