A total of 157 cast rehearsals have already taken place, with volunteer performers giving up their evenings and weekends to take part in rehearsals at a site in Barking & Dagenham.
The ceremonies prop store at 3 Mills Studio is producing 2,956 props and staff in the costume department are working hard to produce 23,000 costumes for all four ceremonies, including sewing 24,570 buttons onto the costumes for one of the opening sequences.
Work has now started to install the set for the opening scene of the Ceremony, which is called ‘Green and Pleasant’. On entry to the Olympic Stadium in east London the audience will see a scene that represents a traditional and idyllic view of the British countryside.
The whole of the field of play in the Stadium will be transformed into the rolling British countryside as the London 2012 Ceremonies Team creates one of the largest sets ever built. The set will be complete with meadows, fields and rivers, and featuring families taking picnics, sport being played on the village green and farmers tilling the soil whilst real farmyard animals graze – including 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep, and 3 sheep dogs. Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower– the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland.
Titled ‘Isles of Wonder’, the Olympic Opening Ceremony will open with the ringing of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world and is predicted to be viewed live by a worldwide TV audience of over a billion people.
‘The Ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be. The best part of telling that story has been working with our 10,000 volunteers. I’ve been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the purest embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation.’