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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Post-Olympics Shakespeare praise

paralympics-36
paralympics-36 (Photo credit: suran2007)
It was inevitable... the very English Bard was bound to be a feature of the London 2012 Olympics.

So apparently the Olympic opening ceremony had Shakespeare themes in it. I know Kenneth Branagh had a Shakespeare role, and some of the music is called "Calaban". But I was out of the country and missed watching it myself.

What I've seen less mention of is the almost entirely "Tempest" themed Paralympics opening ceremony.

A stunning event, alternating science and literature with Stephen Hawking and Ian McKellen hosting. A bit less insane than it's earlier counterpart, and more consistent.

A good video of highlights is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBmmA7rfliw

Hawking started with speeches about human endevour and accomplishment, which McKellen followed with ongoing pieces from the Tempest - spoken to Miranda, played by radio actress Nicola Miles-Wildin. Not just a snippet, the entire ceremony played out pieces of the play in an ongoing narrative.

Some of the story was slightly backwards, such as Miranda arriving back on the island from a ship - video here. But all in all the intention of the play was kept, celebrating
"the beautiful diversity of humanity" --Prospero
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