Ipswich: Russell’s over the moon as Olympic dream comes true

HEADTEACHER Russell Moon is struggling to come back down to earth after taking part in the internationally-praised opening ceremony for the Olympics.

Mr Moon, a consultant headteacher who works with schools needing special help, was one of the villagers in the prequel to the main ceremony – and took part in the football match which became a celebration of rugby.

Friday night’s opening ceremony was the culmination of months of auditions and rehearsals – and he was delighted by the worldwide reaction to the ceremony.

Mr Moon said: “I heard that they were having difficulty in getting enough men to take part in the opening ceremony, so I applied online early in the new year.

“I had an audition on February 14 and a second one on the 18th. On April 3 I had an e-mail saying I would be part of the show.”

From the start of May there were rehearsals every weekend – and during July the number increased.

This culminated in two full dress rehearsals in the stadium during the week leading up to the opening ceremony.

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Mr Moon said: “By the time of the ceremony we all knew each other well and worked very well as a team – the performance was evolving all the time and the final version only emerged on Wednesday.”

His group met director Danny Boyle who was on hand at all the rehearsals: “He enthused everyone.

“He said he wanted the ceremony to touch the heart and he certainly achieved that.”

A total of 10,000 performers took part in the ceremony, but Mr Moon still has not seen the whole thing.

In total 100,000 people had seen it before the night – there were two rehearsals with a full stadium.

“Everyone was sworn to secrecy, and the way 100,000 people kept the secret was amazing. We knew about The Queen and James Bond but no one let on. That made the whole thing magical,” he said.