Documentation (design drawings, design concepts, and photographs), paper, Bananas in Pyjamas float, Parade of Icons, Closing Ceremony for the Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000, designed by John King, used at the Ceremonies Workshop, Sydney 2000
This archival material of design drawings, design concepts and photographs represents the 'Bananas in Pyjamas' float that featured in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Designed by John King, it carried the children's television characters, B1, B2, Rat-in-a-Hat, Amy, Morgan and Lulu, in a parade of Australian celebrities, called 'The Parade of Icons'. Inspired by the long-running television show, 'Bananas in Pyjamas', the float represented the Bananas' house on Cuddles Avenue. This archival material illustrates the development of the float as well as the associated props and costumes.
Directed by David Atkins, the Parade of Icons was a playful segment of the ceremony that featured Australian celebrities borne on outlandish floats. Kylie Minogue, Greg Norman, the Bananas in Pyjamas, Elle Macpherson, Paul Hogan and the tour bus, 'Priscilla', from the movie, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', starred in the parade as Australian icons. To an international audience, these familiar faces seemed incongruous with the menagerie of odd floats and props. Though, to the local audience, the parade was a wry blend of popular culture and Australian humour.
Containing design drawings, design concepts and photographs, this archival material represents the Bananas in Pyjamas float that featured in the Parade of Icons - a light-hearted procession of Australian celebrities in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Designed by John King, the float resembled an over-sized banana with a staircase at both ends and one in the middle.
Other icons in the parade included singer and actress, Kylie Minogue; professional golf player, Greg Norman; children's television characters, the super-model and actress, Elle Macpherson; actor and comedian, Paul Hogan, and the tour bus, 'Priscilla', from the Australian movie, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'. Compiled in 2000, this archival material was used at the Ceremonies Workshop by teams of set designers, prop builders and model makers.
The Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place on Sunday, 1 October, at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay. It included solemn formalities, an informal parade of athletes and a farewell party that took the form of an unregimented parade with floats that celebrated and often mocked aspects of Australian popular culture. The intention was to conduct the ceremony with decorum until the extinction of the Olympic flame, and then to unleash a party. The artistic director of the closing ceremony David Atkins explained: 'The athletes have finished competition, and are ready to party, and we have set about creating a party to end all parties. We have decided to invite everyone into our giant Australian backyard - fully equipped with Hills Hoists, barbecues, an eclectic mix of music, performers and all manner of Australiana. Australians have a tradition of throwing great parties, and this one will be imbued with a sense of fun, larrikinism and goodwill.' According to Ric Birch (speaking on Channel 7's 'Olympic Sunrise'), the Opening Ceremony was to represent Australia at large, but the Closing Ceremony was Sydney's show.
As the ceremony unfolded the proliferation of suburban images, such as Hills Hoists, blowflies, lifesavers and thongs, was treated with self-deprecating irony rather than clichÂ?. The wit and quality of the 'Parade of Icons' - a gala of Australian celebrities - reflected the influence of the late Peter Tully and his experience as artistic director of the Sydney Mardi Gras. The 'pit chicks', for example, donned silver hot pants and stiletto shoes and carried giant eyelashes and mascara for the Priscilla Bus - a prop that celebrated the Australian film, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', as well as local gay culture.
After Vanessa Amorosi's performance of 'Absolutely Everybody', the arena was transformed into a huge dance-floor as 960 ballroom dancing couples in fluorescent costumes danced the samba, tango and jive to the beat of John Paul Young. Accompanying the dancers, were 208 giant dancing feet and the incongruous assembly of oversized kewpie dolls.
The opening ceremony told a mythic story of nation-building that dwarfed individuals. It was evocative and subtle. The closing ceremony, however, celebrated personality, celebrity and attitude. Loud and brash, more like a rock concert than a profoundly theatrical event, it was an extravagant send-off - fun, festive, shamelessly excessive and, for an international audience, decidedly weird.
This documentation refers to the Bananas in Pyjamas float that featured in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Designed by John King, the float represented the Bananas' house on Cuddles Avenue.
This archival material was made and used by set designers, prop builders and model makers at the Ceremonies Workshop at Eveleigh.