But the following is all true - honest gov! I started yesterday in meeting with a delegation from Beijing to share with them our vision for the Cultural Olympiad. It was a challenge to describe ‘hip hop Shakespeare’, the concept of street arts, and how we have recently had large elephants roaming the streets of London in the name of art. But they got it and seemed very excited about our plans to work with artists and to celebrate in 2012.
I then went on to meet with the British Council to talk about how we will engage disabled people around the world at the time of the Paralympics in a global debate about disability rights, representation, and how we can commission world class disabled artists to visit us in London during 2012.
Later that evening I found myself outside the National Theatre. It had been a long day but I was honoured to be the guests of Teatr Biuro a Polish theatre company performing a site specific Macbeth. As the sun set, oh how the heavens opened – the packed crowd crammed in looking amazing in their white pac a macs (kindly supplied by the Polish Embassy!). Off we went – witches on stilts, Macbeth on a motor bike, blood, screams, beautiful music and stunning theatre. Inspiring stuff. (Catch them in Belfast in October!)
I finish in the dressing rooms of the National Theatre with a glass or two, discussing the merits of the bard in English, Polish, German and Russian and our ambitions for the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012.
And so to bed – a very pleased cultural citizen of the world looking forward to turning dreams into a reality in 2012: our year of true international cultural celebration in the UK – the moment we ‘welcome the world’.