Green & pleasant land inspires the Olympic Games opening ceremony

Danny Boyle, artistic director of the Olympic Games opening ceremony, has revealed the show will be ‘British Countryside’ themed.

Academy Award-winning director Boyle, whose films include Slumdog Millionaire, The Beach, Trainspotting and 127 Hours, was chosen to artistically direct the show in June 2010 and has announced the £27 million ceremony will feature a village cricket team, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 70 sheep, a model of Glastonbury Tor and the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world.

“This is a festival of celebration of an Olympic ideal. But it’s not a naive show. We’re trying to show the best of us, but we’re also trying to show many different things about our country,” said Boyle.

“The growth of cities is an extraordinary phenomenon that is clearly linked to the growth of the Olympic Games.”

Chief executive of VisitEngland James Beresford added: “The eyes of the world will be on the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. England’s beautiful countryside is one of this country’s greatest assets and we are delighted that Danny Boyle is using this fantastic opportunity to showcase our ‘Green and Pleasant’ land.

“The sheer breadth and diversity of England’s rural landscapes means that there is always somewhere new to discover, and our latest research shows that countryside breaks are becoming increasingly popular for Brits taking a holiday at home. In 2011, there were over 19 million domestic overnight breaks taken in the countryside in England, worth just under £3 billion to the economy.

“Whether it’s a walking tour of the Peak District or a camping trip in the New Forest, a holiday in the country is a great opportunity for families to get outdoors and spend some quality time together. We very much look forward to seeing the beautiful British countryside reproduced in the Olympic Stadium next month!”

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