Birmingham’s opening ceremony set to challenge British colonialism, celebrate diversity


Broadcast to a possible TV and on-line viewers of a billion individuals, the ceremony is anticipated to confront Britain’s colonial previous, have a good time the racial variety of contemporary England, and the remedy of LGBTQI athletes across the Commonwealth.

Theatre director Iqbal Khan, the ceremony’s inventive director, stated he had been “100 per cent conscious of the Commonwealth’s problematic historical past” when placing collectively the present, which tells an “immersive” story of the West Midlands by the eyes of 72 younger athletes.

Batonbearer Heidi Rhodes James holds the Queen’s Baton during the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay.

Batonbearer Heidi Rhodes James holds the Queen’s Baton through the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay.Credit score:Getty

He added that he would method problems with colonialism and slavery by “not ignoring it” and by dramatising one thing of friction and a historical past of trauma.

“But in addition it’s a historical past of resilience and an embrace of a brand new manner that these individuals knowledgeable. So I believe finally it’s a difficult story to inform, nevertheless it’s a extremely optimistic story to inform.”

The Birmingham twang, often called Brummie, can be set to dominate the general public handle system. Organisers have stated it could have been remiss to not put the distinctive monotone burr with a downward intonation on the finish of most sentences on the coronary heart of occasions.


Maeve Clarke, the novelist who has written the opening ceremony, stated the accent was “a part of who we’re”.

Prince Charles, accompanied by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will signify the Queen on the ceremony, to formally declare the Video games open. He’ll once more ship a speech, together with his mom’s message to athletes which has travelled across the Commonwealth in The Queen’s Baton Relay. The ceremony can be anticipated to pay tribute to the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who opened the occasion six instances as president of the Commonwealth Video games Federation.

The closing ceremony 11 days later is anticipated to incorporate a homage to Peaky Blinders, the second most-watched program worldwide on Netflix, and can function a “jukebox” of nice Birmingham musical acts, together with UB40.

The British reggae group has composed and carried out the official track of the Video games, titled Champion. It stays true to the veteran reggae band’s sound, with its bobbing basslines and triumphant horns.

The lyrics are aspirational, with a refrain urging individuals to band collectively and seize the day: “when you’ve taken on the very best and also you’ve risen to the take a look at, you could possibly be the primary champion.”

Duran Duran formed in Birmingham in 1978.

Duran Duran fashioned in Birmingham in 1978.Credit score:Amy Harris/Invision/AP

The monitor additionally options an look by Birmingham rappers Dapz on the Map and Gilly G.

However avoiding COVID-19 can be anticipate to be main consideration for athletes, together with the Australian cricketers.

T20 girls’s cricket will make its Video games debut and will probably be solely the second time the game has been performed within the occasion, following the lads’s 50-overs event in 1998.


The opening ceremony is not going to end till about 10.30pm on Thursday native time, with and Australia begin their Video games marketing campaign the subsequent morning at 11am.

Their recreation in opposition to India is anticipated to draw a large crowd at Edgbaston.

“That’s a piece in progress. There have been some discussions round that and we haven’t reached a spot on that but,” Australian coach Shelley Nitschke stated of the opening ceremony.

Khan stated it has been “an unbelievable honour” to information the inventive course for the opening ceremony.

“Since setting out on this journey, I needed to inform Birmingham’s story and I needed to inform it proper – to indicate that there’s a vivid and vibrant confidence about this place,” Khan, who labored alongside rapper Joshua “RTKal” Holness on the ceremony’s soundtrack, stated.

“It’s the music of this metropolis that actually provides it its voice, and this beautiful line-up will join with a world viewers, as we have a good time the very best of Birmingham creativity on a global stage.”

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