The Olympic Stadium will be transformed into the "British countryside" for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games on 27 July, director Danny Boyle has revealed.A cast of 10,000 volunteers will help recreate country scenes, against a backdrop featuring farmyard animals and landmarks like Glastonbury Tor.
The opening scene of the £27m ceremony will be called "Green and Pleasant", said Boyle, who added that the show would create "a picture of ourselves as a nation."
The set will feature meadows, fields and rivers, with families taking picnics, people playing sports on the village green and farmers tilling the soil.
Real farmyard animals will be grazing in the "countryside", with a menagerie of 30 sheep, 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese and three sheepdogs.
One billion people worldwide are expected to watch the opening ceremony.
|with Danny Boyle|
The world's largest "harmonically-tuned" bell, weighing 23 tonnes and measuring 2m tall x 3m wide, will ring inside the Stadium to start the Shakespeare-inspired spectacle, featuring 900 children from the six Games host boroughs."That's how communities notified each other that something important was going to happen...after the war the bells were rung in London to announce the peace and we will begin our Games with a symbol of peace." Among the other features will be two mosh-pits - one representing the Glastonbury festival and another the Last Night of the Proms - filled with members of the public.
Tickets for these positions are yet to be allocated, with organisers still to decide how to distribute them.
The set will feature real grass, an oak tree and "clouds" suspended from wires above the stadium - one of which will produce rain, provided the British weather does not provide its own on the night.
Meanwhile, the home nations will be represented by Maypoles topped with a thistle, a leek, a rose and flax.