London Shortening Olympic Opening Ceremony to Make Sure it Ends on Time

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Olympics organizers say it's just "a matter of tightening," but the stunt bike sequence is gone from the opening ceremony of the London games.

At issue are concerns that the show will run longer than the scheduled three hours.

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has been planning a spectacular inspired by William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" that he's calling "Isles of Wonder." It opens with a scene of an idyllic British countryside complete with live farm animals, including 70 sheep, a dozen horses and a number of chicken and geese.

Asked about reports that Boyle is angry about being forced to cut the show by as much as 30 minutes, a spokeswoman for the organizing committee says: "Things end up on the cutting-room floor. I think he understands that."

Organizers are under pressure to make sure spectators can get home before public transportation shuts down. And the International Olympic Committee says it wants to make sure that athletes get to bed at a reasonable hour.

The show is expected to wrap up between between midnight and 12:30 a.m. local time.

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