Forget bland oohs and ahhs, think wows and wide eyed fervour - a £27m budget, a cast of 15,000 - plus some very familiar faces - will ensure you remain gripped for the duration of tonight's opening ceremony in London.

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle had asked rehearsal audiences to keep the show secret, but revealed his spectacular, themed 'Isles of Wonder', will carry viewers on a musical and literary journey through Britain’s heritage, from feudal to future.

The show features a recreation of the British countryside, including live farmyard animals, and covers key events including the industrial revolution and the creation of the NHS.

That narrative is wrapped around the story - again leaked – of two girls defying their parents for a night on the town aided by social media, their foray takes them through nightclubs playing music from the great decades of British pop starting in the 60s to the noughties.

It gives little away to tell you this is show is a riot of colour, noise, lasers and pyrotechnics – but, despite a near three hour running time, still manages to surprise and entertain at most turns.

Musical sequences, light shows, audience interaction and video interludes ensure continuity between the scenes – but the sheer scale of the production, the actors, the sets, the machinery, makes this a stunning spectacle.

The proud heritage of Britain and London exposed on centre stage will not fail to rouse you into a patriotic stupor, and where Beijing dazzled with the meticulous synchronisation of what seemed an endless army of actors, London’s show will cleverly emulate that Beijing effect with clever use of technology.

Equally as clever is Boyle’s witty pen – the Slum Dog Millionaire director craftily intertwining British eccentricity and humour into the events that have shaped our – and the world’s – past and present.

Audience reaction after the dress rehearsals has been, with little exception, wildly enthusiastic. Most went a lot further.

Tonight is the moment London and Britain are exposed to a global audience of billions and  Boyle, his creative team, and the thousands of volunteers have succeeded in producing a show that will not be forgotten for its imagination and scale.

Forget the cost of the games, gridlocked transport systems  and even the sport to come - and give yourself over to what will be a satisfying three hours of reality suspension.

This is truly a stunning and awesome spectacle - do not miss it.

We will be running a live blog throughout the night, with updates from our man in the park Tim Ashton. Leave your comments on the blog a get in touch with us via Twitter using #GamesBegin