Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony in Danny Boyle's own words

If you download the Olympic 2012 Opening Ceremony album - "Isles of Wonder" - there is a foreword by Danny Boyle that explains the concept of the opening ceremony. I thought it was very helpful in understanding what the point of his spectacular was - and underlines, in my opinion, just how successful it was; here it is:


At some point in their histories, most nations experiencea revolution that changes everything about them. The United Kingdom had a revolution that changed the whole of human existence. In 1709 Abraham Darby smelted iron in a blast furnace, using coke. And so began the IndustrialRevolution. Out of Abraham’s Shropshire furnace flowed molten metal. Out of his genius flowed the mills, looms, engines, weapons, railways, ships, cities, conflicts and prosperity that built the world we live in.It was a revolution that filled the world with noise,smoke, prosperity, pain and possibility.

In November 1990 another Briton sparked another revolution – equally far-reaching – a revolution we’restill living through. Tim Berners - Lee invented the World Wide Web, and built the world’s first website. He took no money for his invention. This, he said, is for everyone.

Just like the Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution is turning the world upside down, taking music, books,shopping, conversation, information to places that they never went before.

But flickering in the smoke and noise and excitement, you can sometimes glimpse a single golden thread of purpose – the idea of Jerusalem – of the better world, the world of real freedom and true equality, a world that can be built through the prosperity of industry, through the caring nation that built the welfare state, through the joyous energy of popular culture, through the dream of universal communication. A belief that we can build Jerusalem.

And that it will be for everyone.

Danny Boyle

Artistic Director

London 2012 Olympic Games

Opening Ceremony