Newspapers and commentators have been giving their reaction to the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Times described director Danny Boyle’s creation as a “masterpiece”.
“Adventurous, self-confident, playful, entertaining, and all with a sense of history,” it said.
Columnist Simon Barnes said “London turned down the option to celebrate giants and supermen and power and might and chose instead to celebrate people”.
“Brilliant, breathtaking, bonkers and utterly British,” said the Telegraph.
“Danny Boyle captured the spirit, history, humour and patriotism of an expectant nation last night as he pulled off an Olympic opening ceremony like no other.”
Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph was decidedly lukewarm about the event, describing it as a “bit of a grab-bag”.
“I thought some of it was great, some was rather bad and quite a lot of it will mystify the foreign TV viewers (95% of the audience) who it was supposed to dazzle,” he said.
However, historian Tim Stanley in the same newspaper said it “told many stories about British history.”
He said: “The show was as complex (or confused) as British identity itself. But it was also spectacular, beautiful and funny.”
The Guardian said the film with James Bond and the Queen “formed one of the highlights of Danny Boyle’s tumultuously inventive opening ceremony to the 2012 Games”.
It continued: “Now, thanks to Boyle, we really have seen everything.”
The Daily Mail said the lighting of the Olympic flame by seven unheralded young athletes was “the coolest moment of an amazing show”.
The Sun in its editorial described it as a “magic night”.
“Master film director Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony last night truly did our nation proud,” it said.
“For thrills, imagination, surprises and sheer joy it was unbeatable.”
The New York Times said: “With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is.”
The Washington Post stated: “If the opening ceremonies of the London Games sometimes seemed like the world’s biggest inside joke, the message from Britain resonated loud and clear: We may not always be your cup of tea, but you know – and so often love – our culture nonetheless.”
For the Sydney Morning Herald it was “an unforgettable start”.
“Boyle’s vivid and vibrant pageant set the tone for these Games and perhaps even a new direction for the Olympic movement. Rio has a hard act to follow, which won’t deter it at all,” it said.
The Times of India called the ceremony “dazzling”.
It said: “London presented a vibrant picture of Great Britain’s rich heritage and culture as a colourful opening ceremony marked the inauguration of the 30th Olympic Games.”
“Kaleidoscopic pageant sets London Games rolling,” said the China Daily.
“Britain’s Queen Elizabeth declared the London Olympics open after playing a cameo role in a dizzying ceremony designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport,” it said.