Any good pitch needs a touch of theatre. This is as true of the informal cross-table discussion as it is of the larger set piece and while the theatre might be created by staging, or props or, hopefully, an idea, its success will depend on one thing. Did it make an emotional connection?
Given that the Greeks gave us theatre in the first place, given the setting and given the 2,800 years of history, it was very sad that the torch lighting ceremony in Olympia was so lacking in emotion. It was not because the flame went out and had to be re-lit. Nor because the grass was worn or that the ‘virgins’ looked disinterested.
What was lacking, and who can blame the Greeks, was dynamism, energy and the theatrical drama so evident in Athens. For them this must be a bitter reminder of what was and is no longer. It was a pitch lacking emotion and this came across in the coverage.
Fortunately for London this lowkey start will be long forgotten by the time 8,000 inspirational torchbearers have carried the flame through over 1,000 cities, towns and villages. A whole lot of emotion will be going on!