SBD/July 18, 2012/Olympics

Opening Ceremony Shortened After Rehearsal Raises Concerns About Length

London Games Creative Dir Danny Boyle has been told “to cut the length of the Olympic Opening Ceremony with organisers increasingly anxious that spectators will be left without transport home if it overruns,” according to Paul Kelso of the London TELEGRAPH. The decision to “cut back the artistic element of the ceremony was made following rehearsals on Saturday night and Sunday raised concerns that the show will take longer than its three-hour target time.” A 10-minute sequence “from the end of the show involving stunt-bikes has been cut altogether.” There is particular concern that “were the show to overrun and leave spectators stranded it could set the tone for the start of the Games.” Organizers have "always said that they want to be finished" by midnight or 12:30am at the latest, but the "tube network will run" until 2:30am in anticipation of an overrun. It is a “hugely complex process that will provide a huge test of London’s readiness” (London TELEGRAPH, 7/18). In London, Neil Lancefield reports LOCOG “denied that the decision was connected to the G4S security debacle” (London INDEPENDENT, 7/18).
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