Social media was buzzing Tuesday with leaks from a rehearsal of the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, despite director Danny Boyle's plea for spectators to "save the surprise".
Tens of thousands of people attended a technical rehearsal at the Olympic Stadium on Monday, one of the final run-throughs before Friday's £27 million ($42 million, 34.5 million euro) spectacular.
The ceremony's artistic director, film-maker Danny Boyle, begged the audience -- which included guests of the Games organisers and the families of those taking part -- not to leak out details about the event, set to be watched by a worldwide television audience.
The Twitter hashtag "savethesurprise" was emblazoned on the stadium's giant screens.
Oscar winner Boyle, 55, and his creative team have done their best to keep most details of the opening ceremony secret.
But the director of the hit films "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire" acknowledges that in the age of social media and camera phones, keeping everything under wraps will be impossible.
Despite his pleas, details began to emerge as people left the run-through unable to contain their excitement.
Spectators tweeted pictures of the event -- one with a hand covering most of the action -- while others commented on the show.
"Was blown away by the opening ceremony last night. Whatever your expectations are, forget them! It's beautiful," said Mims Reilly.
Mark Beaver wrote: "So lucky to have seen the Olympic rehearsal last night. The whole nation should feel justifiably proud on Friday."
Sue Hillman, who tweeted a picture of her ticket, wrote on her blog: "Although it was not the full line-up yet as several videos and some of the performances were not in last night, nor was the parade of athletes naturally, it was wonderful -- strange in parts and absolutely brilliant in others.
"The movement of huge numbers of performers, the incredible scene changes, the fabulous music, the imagination -- wow! You'll have to watch it on Friday to learn more as my lips are sealed."
There was praise too for Boyle, with some suggesting he should be knighted for his efforts.
"If you've got plans Friday night, cancel them. Opening ceremony is out of this world. Danny Boyle, I salute you," said Pete Hendrick.
"Amazing scene at technical rehearsal for opening ceremony," said former British foreign secretary David Miliband.
"Danny Boyle is a genius with a wicked sense of humour."
Organisers have already revealed that the ceremony will feature a recreation of the British countryside, including live farmyard animals.
Boyle showed off a model layout of the set last month, featuring clouds hanging over it and a hill at one end.
The theme of the ceremony is "Isles of Wonder", inspired by a passage from William Shakespeare's comedy "The Tempest".
Fellow movie-maker Stephen Daldry, the creative director across the Games ceremonies, has revealed that the show will project "a journey which will celebrate who we are, who we were and who we wish to be."
It will champion "the rich heritage, diversity, energy, inventiveness, wit and creativity that truly defines the British Isles".