The complete London 2012 Festival line-up has been confirmed.
Stephen Fry and comedian Tim Minchin were the last names to join the 12-week Olympic arts celebration, which gets underway on June 21 and finishes on September 9.
Many of the 12,000 events will be held in London, but other events will be hosted in different parts of Britain too. The events range from major spectacles to much smaller celebrations.
Details of the extravaganza were unveiled at a launch event at the Tower of London this week, during which festival director Ruth Mackenzie said the festival would ‘showcase the best in international culture when the eyes of the world are on us this summer’.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who also attended the launch event, was keen to emphasis the diverse events that will take place, ‘from Beethoven to Jay-Z; from Shakespeare to Mike Leigh; from Stephen Fry to Wallace and Gromit’. He also revealed that the UK’s art institutions would be in ‘the global spotlight as really never before’.
Some 10 million free tickets will be made available to those people wishing to attend any one of the 12,000 events. Among the most popular gigs is likely to be Playing the Games, a two-week ‘comedic commentary’ on the Games at London’s Criterion Theatre, curated by Stephen Fry.
Speaking to the BBC, Ms Mackenzie said: ‘It’s going to be pretty wild. Stephen has been a huge fan of this Olympics from the bid onwards.’
Meanwhile, Julie Walters, who appears in the BBC’s Shakespeare season and the National Theatre’s The Last of the Haussmans, revealed that she was ‘utterly thrilled’ to be part of the festivities.
However, the actress revealed that it came as a bit of a shock, adding: ‘I didn’t realise I was until a only a couple of weeks ago!’