For a film to win one Academy Award is something of an achievement, but to win FOUR out of seven nominations is quite something. Aptly in this case, 'Chariots of Fire', the film, is all about winning against the odds - the central characters Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, both Olympic candidates in 1924, decide to devote their athletic and personal trials to what they believe in and what they face - pain, prejudice and pride.
Liddell and Abrahams weren't just ordinary athletes - the first was a devout Scottish Christian who runs for God and the second was an English Jew who has to overcome some pretty grim facets of human nature, including prejudices far beyond reason. In fact Liddell was so enraptured with his religious beliefs, he flatly refused to run one Olympic 1924 event because it fell on a Sunday, not a good day to be observing the Sabbath AND hoping to notch up a medal.
The film itself is a memorable tear-inducing fight against adversity, beautifully soundtracked by THAT Vangelis theme and set on St Andrews' West Sands in Scotland. The slow-motion sequences have been emulated by filmmakers and YouTubers alike, while the story itself has previously been utilised for the touring play, 'Running For Glory'. Not surprisingly, being the year of the Olympics, 'Chariots of Fire' will be making a comeback - on the stage.
The Gielgud Theatre in London's West End will be hosting an extensive five-month run of a new adaptation of the iconic story, which will include the original storyline and the impressive Vangelis themes and soundtracks. This is truly an Olympic tale that is sure to entice theatre-goers and sports fans alike.
Friday 22nd June heralds the opening night for 'Chariots of Fire' which is set to run until 10th November 2012. Tickets for the production cost £26 for Grand Circle seats or £55 for both Stalls and Dress Circles.