Olympic opening ceremony revealed on Twitter

View of the Orbit observation tower and Olympic stadium. Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

Olympic opening ceremony and creative director Danny Boyle and his team have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep the content of next Friday's Opening Ceremony secret.

Boyle allegedly asked spectators to 'Save the surprise'. But at the technical rehearsal tonight, many of the viewers have posted photographs, using the Twitter hashtag: #SavetheSurprise.

#SavetheSurprise on screens at the opening ceremony rehearsals. Credit: @Rillaith

'Save the surprise' was emblazoned on the giant screens inside the Olympic stadium. Boyle said that with social media and camera phones, it wouldn't be able to be kept out of the public eye.

"Part of the modern world means you can't really do that," he said, embracing the prospect of people posting pictures.

Those who did post images that were deemed to be revealing too much of the show were quickly and broadly "flamed'' by tweeters.

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Unbelievable the number of people who can't #savethesurprise and are happy to tweet a photo. THE CLUE IS IN THE HASHTAG!

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I am in my seat in the Olympic Stadium!!!!! This is awesome! Opening ceremony technical r @ Olympic Stadium http://t.co/yxbDSRiZ

Labour MP David Miliband has been watching the rehearsals take place, as wife Louise is due to take part in the opening ceremony.

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Amazing scene at technical rehearsal for Opening Ceremony. Here by marriage not profession. Thanks Louise and good luck.

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Danny Boyle is a genius with a wicked sense of humour.

As the ceremony unfolded, what was clear from the messages was that the Friday's opening ceremony is well worth the wait.

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#london2012 opening ceremony absolutely sensational. What a spectacle! Must watch on Friday. Lucky to be here. #savethesurprise

Some Tweeters have used the opportunity to get up to a little mischief, but overall there seemed to be a communal will to protect the ceremony’s big reveals:

Boyle has revealed only select details about the show, but since the performers started rehearsals in June at the Olympic Stadium, a torrent of information has become public.

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Not sure Angela Merkel will be impressed with Dad's Army theme tune and WW2 soldiers chasing nazis #savethesurprise

The ceremony's theme is "Isles of Wonder," inspired by William Shakespeare's play about shipwrecked castaways, "The Tempest." An actor is due to recite Caliban's speech, the one that runs "Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises."

Mark Rylance, who had been due to perform the lines, pulled out after the death of his stepdaughter. Kenneth Branagh is rumoured to be his replacement.

Some of the 60,000 people attending the opening ceremony rehearsal faced long journeys to get home because of problems on the Tube network surrounding the east London stadium.

Tom Barton reports:

The British Olympic Association confirmed today that Sir Chris Hoy will carry the flag for Team GB at Friday's opening ceremony.

Sir Chris Hoy with his three Olympic gold medals from Beijing. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive