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Drug Discovery student takes part in Olympic ceremony

Pavithra Jayakumar who is studying for an MSc in Drug Discovery at the School was one of the thousands of volunteers supporting the Olympics. Here she recalls her experience during the opening ceremony. 

Pavithra Jayakumar

"Last summer I applied through the games website for both as a Games Maker and for the opening ceremony. On receiving an audition letter from the LOCOG I was thrilled to attend an audition at the 3mills studio at Bromley-By-Bow. After two successive auditions and waiting for a month I was invited for a role-specific audition. 

On the day, we had to do several drama, dance and sport activities and by the end of it I was chosen as a member of the cricket audience. The next day we had to observe a mock cricket game and had to come up with a story line for both the 'home' and 'away' audience. I was chosen to be part of the home audience and eventually given an entrance time for showday of 20.17pm. Initially, we rehearsed entrance and exits in Dagenham East, typically in 5 hour shifts at the Ford car park. Eventually we moved into the stadium. 

The first rehearsal in the Stadium was truly unforgettable. Watching the whole Green and Pleasant Land in the stadium being set up really made me feel staggered by the amount of detail and attention paid to each aspect. The Cricket game was directly opposite to the Torr with the Giant Tree, closer to the east side of the Stadium. We entered the Field of Play from VOM2 (aka Entrance 2) at 20.17pm. 

As the setting was pre-Victorian times, we were dressed as farmers and peasants of the local village Stoke Mandeville, where we knew the neighbourhood well and socialised (or gossiped) at these kind of events. The game began with a 'lost ball' as the ball disappears into the sky and does not fall signifying '6 runs' to the Away team who were batting. Naturally as home team audience we were to clap at the other teams failures like when a player got' Out', ' or if there was midwicket' catch' and sighed at Wicket Keeper's mime which included diving for a ball that turned out to be a 'no ball' even though it was caught. I must say the Referee was partial towards the home team, as there far too many calls of 'no ball' when Home team fielders caught the ball!

The whole experience made me feel really pleased about being part of it. During dress rehearsals, having members of my family come to watch us perform encouraged me and helped me stay in character on show day in front of the 80,000 people. 

Of all the parts, I believe that the change over from the Green and Pleasant land to Pandemonium was the best sequence in the whole of the Opening Ceremony, highlighted by the music of the 1000 drummers. the show was many many times better to watch in the stadium, experiencing the beat of the drums music, is something that will live with me forever."

Page last modified on 15 aug 12 12:23