What can we expect of Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony? Sir Albert Bore on an open topped 11A? Roy Wood riding Brum the little car? Not wanting to spoil the surprise but we’ve got a leaked email from the artistic team…
To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Andre.De.Jong@zaphiks.in Subject: B2022 Opening Ceremony concepts
How is the hat programme going?
I’ve been hard at work with ideas for the Colonies Games Opening. As you said, “I am not a major sports event opening pageant organiser, but I’ll have a look”. It’s all a bit last minute, what with the Commonwealth about to disintegrate, but we can have something good here. No Bull! Except that there is a bull.
It is important we capture the essence and the history of Birmingham, so the best way is to copy what London has done about 10 years later, yes? And on a smaller budget. So we should use the template of 2012 opening ceremony, but make it about Birmingham things.
I don’t know much about Birmingham’s history, but I found this book 101 Things That Birmingham Gave the World, the place has invented so much. This is where we go.
Kids dressed as dancing photocopiers, kettle, pens, stamps, internets, nuclear missiles. The book has 101 of them (although not sure how we dress a kid as the concept of intentionality, maybe just a T-shirt with the word on?).
But we must be careful, we don’t want the kids to say “Mummy, why is Batman dancing with Tim Berners-Lee while a lady scratches her arse?”. However the showing of your bum is very Common Games I hear! Nudey Volleyball, it’s crazy!
People loved the NHS bit in London, so we must copy it and make it Brummie. In the book it says that Birmingham’s Lawson Tait is known as one of the fathers of modern gynaecology. I’ll leave it to you as to how to represent. I am just the concept guy. Maybe Andy Street could dance.
I know you love the violence and hats, so why don’t we recreate that blues fan hitting the back of Grealish’s head – except they are both wearing hats, or something.
Then the music! Heavy! Toni Iommi pulls his finger out and plays the riff to Iron Man as the industrial Revolution section starts and four golden men look at some plans [NB, Stevie, make this visual]. Maybe the tennis players’ bums again – the moon for the Lunar Society.
Then we come to the section Marketing Birmingham wanted: the ‘things that are actually in Stratford but to Americans that seems quite near’ parade. We have the Teletubbies – but they have Shakespeare on their stomach televisions.
Duran Duran and a choir of women from Moseley in matching T-shirts start. They play Girls on Film as a montage of Susanne Virdee and Shefali is on the big screens – for the thirsty Twitter dads. It’s OK, it is irony, man, as Ozzy would say. Hungry like the Wolf is next — Wolf out of Gladiators (who used to live in Brum) says he has got nothing on and has still got a bus pass. We can use this.
Then the baton comes in on an number 11. The baton is already very Birmingham: the ‘Queen’s Baton Relay’ is a little bit ‘Olympic Torch but Cliff Richards hasn’t paid the gas bill’. But what do they do with the batton?
PS Spoke to Andy the other day, his shop is not doing so good, nor his trams, nor his Perry Barr flyover thing. At least he called a train station a funny name though, what a guy! Wonder what political party he supports