Mitch will help set the beat for Olympic celebration

Todmorden drummer Mitch Oldham top row, far right - beat off stiff competition to win a place in a spectacular open-air show on the shores of Lake Windemere
Todmorden drummer Mitch Oldham top row, far right - beat off stiff competition to win a place in a spectacular open-air show on the shores of Lake Windemere

Local drummer Mitch Oldham beat off stiff competition to win a place in a spectacular open-air show on the shores of Lake Windermere that will mark the start of the London 2012 Festival – a cultural celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and the Paralympic Games.

Mitch, 42, from Todmorden, is one of just five drummers and seven dancers who have been chosen to perform with acclaimed French street artists Les Commandos Percu in the world premiere of their electrifying new show On the Night Shift.

Les Commandos are renowned for their explosive shows that combine drama, drumming, pyrotechnics and music in a dazzling mix.

Commissioned by Lakes Alive, The Lake District National Park, We Play Expo and the London 2012 Festival, On the Night Shift promises to be Commandos Percu’s most ambitious show to date.

Mitch was chosen after impressing the judges during two days of demanding auditions.

“I am still buzzing after the auditions. I am so excited to have got through,” he said. “It is an amazing opportunity. In the show what we will doing is creating is music without a common pulse, which is really interesting for me as a musician. This whole journey will be astonishing.”

Mitch will take part in two performances of On the Night Shift, to be held on the edge of the lake following the arrival of the Olympic Torch on June 21 and in Preston on September 9 as part of the finale of The Preston Guild.

Over the next five months, Mitch and the other performers who have been selected, will work with Commandos Percu to develop the show during a series of residential workshops to be held in Ulverston.

They will join host of international stars including Cate Blanchett, Jude Law and Damon Albarn taking part in the London 2012 Festival in the 12 week UK-wide celebration.

Lakes Alive has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. It has also received funding from Arts Council England.

Further details about Lakes Alive can be found at www.lakesalive.org. For more details on the London 2012 Festival visit www.london2012.com/festival