South Hill Park staff in Olympic Opening CeremonyBy Becky Barnes
August 02, 2012
Two members of staff from South Hill Park performed in the extravagant Olympic opening ceremony.
Resident printmaker Holly Drewett, 25, from Ascot, and box office receptionist Clive Elkington, 23, from Bracknell, were part of the 10,000-strong team of volunteers who took part in Danny Boyle’s £27million spectacle on Friday evening.
Holly, who played the part of a 1940s’ nurse in the history of the NHS, said: “It was incredible and overwhelming – there was such a positive attitude and atmosphere. You couldn’t help being caught up in it.”
Both performers auditioned independently of one another in October and went through a gruelling audition process to get picked.
Clive, who was dressed in 1960s’ get -up for the ‘Thanks Tim’ sequence, said: “I thought there was no chance I would get selected but I really wanted it.”
The 23-year-old, wore an orange suede jacket and white winklepickers in a section, which recognised the inventor of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee. It followed a couple going on nights out from the 1960s to the modern day and finished with dancers forming a peace sign.
He said: “The atmosphere was pretty amazing – everybody was buzzing. It was surreal to perform alongside Kenneth Branagh.”
The pair were selected in January and rigorous rehearsals kicked off in April and culminated in two dress rehearsals in front of audiences of 60,000.
Holly, who has no dance background, said: “Being able to be in the Olympic Park and be in the stadium was a highlight as week by week and day by day they added new bits.
“It was quite emotional at times to see things come together.”
Holly and Clive both met artistic director Danny Boyle following the show and received a commemorative programme and certificate, as well as getting to keep their costumes.
Clive said: “It still hasn’t sunk in – the Olympic slogan is ‘Inspire a generation’ and it was genuinely inspirational.”
Holly said: “Aside from the sport, the Olympics is about all the different countries coming together and putting everything to one side.”
The three-hour performance was viewed by almost 27million British television viewers.