London 2012: Barking and Dagenham residents perform in Opening Ceremony

More than 100 Barking and Dagenham children and adults have taken part in the spectacular Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The seven year wait ended in the Olympic Stadium last night (Friday July 27) as billions watched the �27 million production by Slumdog Millionaire director and Oscar winner Danny Boyle.

Many residents were selected by the producers and organisers of the evening celebration because the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is a host borough for the Games.

The Queen alongside celebrities such as footballer David Beckham, James Bond star Daniel Craig, actor Rowan Atkinson, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and others played a part in the ceremony.

Entitled Isles of Wonder, the production captured key moments in British history such as the transformation of the idyllic countryside into the loud and boisterous industrial age.


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Industrial age performer Daryl Kane, 47, of Bentry Road, Dagenham, said: “To think we are involved in something viewed by millions of people is great.”

Lin Russell, 56, of Movers Lane, Dagenham, also performed as did trampoline champion Cole Burrell, eight.

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Groups of up to 30 children from several schools around the borough also took part after auditions were held in schools.

Pupils from All Saints Catholic School, Hunters Hall Primary, Grafton Junior and Warren Junior all took part in the Opening Ceremony with many involved in the opening sets.

Mark Civil, Head of Performing Arts at Barking and Dagenham College, chaperoned students from the College’s School for the Performing Arts and Technical Theatre who have been selected to perform. They were involved in a Shakespeare-inspired scene aimed at celebrating British culture.

Moments before the show started thousands of people had gathered at Central Park, Dagenham, to watch the Opening Ceremony live on a big screen.

They also caught a glimpse of the famous Red Arrows as they flashed across the borough to carry out a flypast over the Olympic Stadium, leaving a trail of red, white and blue vapour.

Residents took to the streetlife.com forum to praise the momentous occasion.

Barry W, of Becontree, said: “Red Arrows flew over our house on the way to Olympic Park tonight. Good start to the Games.”

Suzie H added: “Yes we saw them as we were driving down Wood Lane towards Martins Corner. Had a camera with me as we had been to Central Park to look around the event there so quickly took a photo.

“Just been enjoying watching the opening ceremony on tv. Hope we can continue the ‘good feel’ factor throughout the Olympics.”

Pick up the Barking and Dagenham Post on Wednesday for more on the Olympic Games. Email michael.adkins@archant.co.uk your stories and pictures from the Opening Ceremony and sporting events during the Games or call the newsdesk on 0208 477 3804.

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