London 2012: the cultural calendar
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With the arrival of London 2012, the capital's creative minds have been working overtime to serve up a 17-day cultural extravaganza. Here's our guide to the best goings-on...
The Seed of Narcissus
Tomáš Libertíny, 2011
When it comes to the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium (london2012.com), you can't blame the London 2012 team for feeling the pressure: 1 billion people — that's 15 per cent of the world's population — watched the serried ranks perform in Beijing. So what will the creative director, Danny Slumdog Millionaire Boyle, do with a budget of £80m? Fireworks are sure to be involved. As an antidote to the official ceremony, Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed has orchestrated a more low-key celebration that everyone can join in. His Work No 1197 encourages volunteers — and it could be you — to ring bells throughout the British Isles 'as quickly and as loudly as possible' for three minutes from 8am. allthebells.com
A bicycle orchestra, a ballroom hosting waltzes and line dancing and a series of customised trailers used as sound stages are all part of Exhibition ROAD SHOW, a free festival taking place over nine days (28 July-5 August) in South Kensington's Museumopolis. Artists involved range from Eliza Carthy, Tomas Libertiny and Diwan to the Royal College of Music Brass Quintet and Simon Fisher Turner. The V&A has also got some vintage board games out of its dusty cupboards and set them up in a special area. Anyone can play. exhibitionroadshow.co.uk
If you do have tickets for the Olympic Park, but haven't managed to secure anything for the key events, BA has come up with a genius solution: Park Live. It has installed a double-sided screen (the height of three double-decker buses) on a platform in the River Lea. So while all everyone is straining for a glimpse of the action, you can watch in peace eating your picnic surrounded by parkland. And there will also be visits from athletes on the BA presentation stage. Join the conversation at facebook.com/britishairways.