Porirua pres­ence in open­ing cer­e­mony

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

A proud Porirua boy played a part in the Olympic Games’ ex­trav­a­gant open­ing cer­e­mony on Satur­day morn­ing.

Jules Gibbs, a mar­ket­ing man­ager for an in­sur­ance com­pany in Lon­don, au­di­tioned to be part of the cer­e­mony last Oc­to­ber.

The for­mer Rangikura School pupil and Bishop Viard head boy said get­ting the nod, and be­ing part of 30 re­hearsals and 200 hours’ prac­tice, was un­for­get­table.

‘‘Be­ing in­volved in such an amaz­ing event and rub­bing shoul­ders with the likes of [cre­ative di­rec­tor and Os­car-win­ner] Danny Boyle has prob­a­bly been the great­est ex­pe­ri­ence of my life.’’

The event was seen by an es­ti­mated two bil­lion peo­ple – no pres­sure then.

‘‘The whole of Bri­tain waited with anx­i­ety, which was felt by all the cast. I’m sure this [was] one of the truly great open­ing cer­e­monies.’’

Af­ter ini­tial au­di­tions and then a call­back at a film stu­dio in East Lon­don, Mr Gibbs was cast in the In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion seg­ment, which was in the first 20 min­utes.

He says he has given up ev­ery week­end since the start of May and taken time off work in the last fort­night, to at­tend re­hearsals.

This has in­volved 10-hour days, of­ten in the cold and wind of Bri­tain’s worst sum­mer in re­cent mem­ory.

‘‘But the re­ward has been worth it. The sheer joy I have felt at the two tech­ni­cal and dress re­hearsals, both with crowds ex­ceed­ing 50,000, has been in­cred­i­ble.’’

Proud dad Den­nis Gibbs says he and wife Dot were only told last week what part Jules would have in the cer­e­mony. He was very proud and ex­cited to get the news and knew they would have plenty to talk about when Jules next comes home to Pa­pakowhai in Oc­to­ber.

‘‘He’s a keen Porirua boy. He has a T-shirt that says ‘Rome, Lon­don, New York, Porirua’, so it’s great we have a link to the Olympics like this.’’

He says Jules has plenty of act­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, from per­for­mances at col­lege and Tawa Lit­tle The­atre, and had three roles in West End play Teech­ers re­cently. He is a mem­ber of the Royal Bank of Scot­land The­atre Group.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Olympics link: Jules Gibbs, who still has strong ties to Porirua, out­side the Olympic Sta­dium.

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