Danny Boyle the director of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting who is in charge of the opening ceremony for the London Olympics has said that not enough junkies and slumdwellers have so far put themselves forward to take part. With less than a year away till the big day, Boyle is busy working on creating an ambitious masterpiece of squalor that will take the best bits from his two hit films.
After Bejing raised the benchmark of professionalism in 2008, the whole world will be watching and Boyle is feeling the pressure not to screw up. Some traditionalists are asking why Boyle is using this ceremony as an opportunity to promote his most famous films, whilst others were hoping he would have created something a little more positive that sells the modern and wholesome face of Britain.
For the first part, as a homage to Slumdog Millionaire, Boyle has decided to transform the Olympic stadium into a giant open Mumbai slum, complete with shacks, open sewers and people foraging for food on piles of excrement. The problem is that an ambitious piece like this requires at least 10,000 people to make it look authentic. The slum dwellers need to also be able to dance and understand English. So far two people have applied, so understandably the director is nervous about finding the other 9,998 people.
For the second half inspired by Trainspotting, Boyle plans to have junkies, synchronised swimming in a giant toilet, a nod to the scene made famous by Ewan McGregor. However this requires multi-skilled people who not only have severe drug problems but can dive and hold their breath under water for long periods of time, as well as be happy swimming in a toilet filled with a fresh 'jobbies' as defined in Scottish English. Again very few junkies have put themselves forward; the problem being, many don't know where they are going to be next summer. Discussions are under way with northern industrial regions of England and the Scottish government to see if they can help supply people.
What is certain is this will be the most unconventional ceremony ever, and shows why London is the world's centre of eccentricity. It might also be the smelliest opening ceremony ever.