First look: Glasgow Commonwealth Games opening ceremony rehearsals get underway

Jack Morton Worldwide, which has been tasked with conceiving, planning and delivering the opening ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, has revealed the event's cast have begun rehearsals.

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The opening ceremony takes place on 23 July at Celtic Park and involves 2,000 cast members, who will perform in front of an audience of 40,000. More than one billion people are expected to watch the event on television.

David Zolkwer, Jack Morton’s senior vice president and director of public events, is also head of ceremonies and artistic director for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He said: "Our goal has always been to have the people of Glasgow and Scotland take centre-stage; for them to speak, and sing and dance, for themselves.

"On the night our audience will witness thousands of real people doing extraordinary things – and in the process I know our volunteer cast performers will do themselves, the city and Scotland proud."

Organisers have promised the opening ceremony will surprise and delight, as well as being uniquely Glaswegian and Scottish.

Celtic Park is in the process of being transformed ahead of the opening ceremony, which will feature Europe's largest LED screen, a specially created stage floor which covers the entire pitch and a walkway specifically designed for the athlete's parade.

The giant screen, which is currently being built across the whole of the south stand at Celtic Park, will be almost 100 meters long, 11 meters high and weighs 38 tonnes.

Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Unicef have forged a partnership for the ceremony, in a bid to raise money for the Children of the Commonwealth Fund, in the run-up to and during the Games.

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said: "The men and women who have come together to be part of the opening ceremony cast are devoting huge amounts of time and effort in what is the adventure of a lifetime.

"They are part of something truly historic, which will showcase Glasgow and Scotland as generous hosts with a passion for life."

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