London's Olympic spirit spreads to the theatre
Following the heroics, inspirational moments and general euphoria of the London 2012 Olympics, a theatre production of Chariots of Fire was staged in honour of the Olympics, its release being timed to coincide with the London games, and it has seen huge audiences turn out to revel in the Olympic spirit. The 'Chariots of Fire' play was adapted for the stage from the original screenplay by playwright Mike Bartlett and is currently showing at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. The show contains the original, iconic musical score, composed by Vangelis, which featured in the film. For those of the youngest generation, Chariots of Fire is an Oscar-winning film produced in 1981 telling the story of Great British athletes Eric Liddell's and Harold Abraham's success at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Great effort went into staging each production in each different theatre as every single one had to be turned into an Olympic stadium with the skilful use of staging and props, all orchestrated by stage designer Miriam Buether. Several new pieces of music, aside from the original score, were also composed byVangelis specifically for the stage productions of the show. The initial idea of adapting the film to a stage play to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics was that of Hugh Hudson, the film's Oscar-nominated director, who is also co-producing the play.
The Chariot's of Fire influence at the London 2012 Olympics spread much further than just these plays running throughout the summer in the West End. The Vangelis score featured in the London 2012 opening ceremony, with a comic performance of it by Rowan Atkinson being a highlight, and was played extensively at the games, being played at every single medal ceremony. Chariots of Fire is certainly as inspirational as ever!