Beijing company wants to recreate London Olympic opening ceremony

Beijing company wants to recreate London Olympic opening ceremony

Missed this year’s Olympic opening extravaganza? You might soon be able to watch it on a Beijing stage
London Olympic opening ceremony -- main
The Chinese produced the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening ceremony. Why shouldn't they recreate the 2012 London ceremony as a musical?

While the world is still debating the good, bad and cheesy of the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, a Beijing-based entertainment company is already one step ahead.

British theater producer David King, who successfully brought a Christmas show to China last year, has been asked by an unnamed Chinese business concern to whip up a new musical based on the London Olympic opening ceremony, according The Telegraph

The production is supposedly meant to be ready by the end of 2012.

The Leeds native declined media requests to name the Chinese company, but revealed that he has previously worked with the same group.

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No information on the budget or the show venue has been disclosed.

London Olympic opening ceremony -- inlineAt least some Chinese are keen to bring scenes of the rolling British countryside to the stage.

Cricketers dancing to The Beatles?

King, 56, said his Chinese contact rang him in the middle of the night, only hours after the London Olympic opening ceremony, to talk about the possible project.

"There is such a massive fascination for all things British in Beijing and the provinces of China that I'm going to give this serious thought,” King told The Telegraph.

King said the Beijing company was particularly interested in the opening sequence, as well as the ending with the torch lighting.

“My business contacts out there loved the rolling British countryside set and have even asked for farmyard animals and a cricket match! Maybe they might like cricketers dancing to The Beatles?!” wrote King on his blog

But the British theater producer has allowed that it’d be a “tough challenge” to herd the same number of animals onto a Beijing stage as London ceremony director Danny Boyle’s used in his US$42.4 million extravaganza.

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The London Olympic opening ceremony, officially dubbed “Isles of Wonder,” featured 12 horses, 10 chickens, nine geese, three cows and a flock of sheep. It also included 10,000 adult (human) volunteers and 900 children.

"I think this sort of musical could well be another international winner for me,” King commented on the show-in-plan. The theater entrepreneur has about 20 stage shows touring worldwide.

Positive feedback in China

The quintessentially British opening ceremony generated mostly positive reviews in China.

“The London Olympic opening ceremony resembles more of a condensed version of British civilization. [It] can inspire the whole world,” wrote Xinhua in one editorial. 

“London is the capital of creativity," wrote state-run Guangming Daily (in simplified Chinese only). "It has a very strong sense of creative consciousness. But the British chose to find inspirations from their ancestors. This is appropriate, distinctive, ethnic and historical.” 

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According to media research firm CSM, some 100 million TV viewers in China watched the London Olympic opening ceremony live (which began at 4 a.m. on Saturday), and another 220 million sat through the replay the next day.

More than 24 million netizens posted 120 million relevant microblogs on Sina Weibo within 12 hours of the ceremony's start.