Olympic Games role of a lifetime for Barnsley student Adam

Adam Cookson, far left, from Barnsley. Adam is casting assistant for Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies this summer.
Adam Cookson, far left, from Barnsley. Adam is casting assistant for Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies this summer.
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A STUDENT rubbed shoulders with director Danny Boyle while working behind the scenes at the Olympic opening ceremony and is now hard at work preparing for the closing celebrations.

It was a case of one down, three to go for Barnsley student Adam Cookson when the much-celebrated opener came to a finish less than a fortnight ago.

As soon as the spectacle was over, he was hard at work preparing for the closing ceremony and both Paralympic ceremonies.

The fames maker, who is studying for a degree in event management at West London University, was selected as a casting assistant in February because of his work in production arts.

Even though the role has taken over his life for six months, he had to remain tight-lipped about the top-secret plans.

He said: “My role started at the very beginning of the ceremonies’ life – assisting with auditions, rehearsals and the movement of cast from venue to venue.

“I knew the next six months were going to be busy and working across three rehearsal sites in east London, early mornings and the British weather all provided a huge challenge.

“My job was to assist with the 280 children who were dancing and lying on the beds during the NHS scene.”

He also met director Danny Boyle.

He said: “Danny was a real inspiration. He attended every rehearsal and was extremely positive about the entire ceremony. He was also grateful to the volunteer workforce and cast for giving up their time to take part in this huge British celebration.

“On our first day at the stadium, we could see the stage taking shape with the bell already in place - it was such a magical experience.”

As a thank you, Adam was allowed to invite guests to the opening ceremony dress rehearsal.

His parents travelled from Barnsley to watch.

He said: “The entire ceremonies team is like one big family and it is the first time in Olympic history the same team is going to complete all four ceremonies.”