Jack Morton to stage pageants for Games

Jack Morton Worldwide is putting together the opening and closing ceremonies at this year's Commonwealth Games, it has been revealed.

The live events agency is planning to showcase British culture and talent at the events, which will take place at the City of Manchester Stadium in front of the Queen on 25 July and 4 August. The ceremonies will include all 23 City of Manchester State Secondary schools and feature more than 6,000 performances.

Jack Morton expects a global television audience of about one billion viewers.

"Our challenge is to create an event that is uniquely Manchester but reflects the diversity of the UK and the Commonwealth communities around the world,

said Jack Morton Worldwide chairman Lois Jacobs. "We are fortunate because Manchester is the centre of the modern multicultural UK so our initial inspiration has come from there."

The project's artistic director David Zolkwer said: "The ceremonies will project Manchester's personality traits of style, edge, humour and wit," he said.

Previous Jack Morton projects include the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Paralympics.

- Avesco Group has signed up to be sole AV supplier to the Commonwealth Games and as Event went to press Owen Brown was expected to sign a contract to provide temporary structures.

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