Day 2 Sporting Events
Friday 31st August
World champions Brazil take on France in Football 5-a-side in an early 9am kick-off at the Riverbank Arena. At the ExCeL Centre, China taking on USA in women's Sitting Volleyball is the stand-out match of the preliminaries, while there's a first outing for Britain's women's volleyball team – including 7/7 survivor Martine Wright. Also at ExCeL, Venezuela's Naomi Soazo is favourite for the -63kg Judo competition and in Table Tennis there are men's and women's singles qualifying games – featuring world number one in class 7, Will Bayley. Swedish shooter Jonas Jacobsson, the most successful Paralympian with an incredible 28 medals, attempts to add to that number with the first of his four events at the Royal Artillery Barracks at 12.30pm. A packed afternoon of Swimming in the pool features the likes of Britain's Sam and Ollie Hynd, and Heather Frederiksen, Brazil's Andre Brasil, Spain's Serai Gascon, France's David Smetanine and Australia's Matthew Cowdrey. It's a big day for Team GB Track Cyclists in the Velodrome as Aileen McGlynn (piloted by Helen Scott) defends her B 1km time trial title at 9.30am in the morning while Jody Cundy defends his C4-5 1km time trial title in the afternoon alongside Jon-Allan Butterworth. Both the men's and women's teams are in action in the popular Paralympics-specific sport of Goalball. Team GB take on Beijing bronze medal winners Australia in Wheelchair Basketball at 1pm and it's the first day of Athletics events in the Olympic Stadium.
Medal events: Cycling Track, Athletics, Judo, Shooting, Powerlifting, Swimming
Non sporting events on Day 2 around London
Friday 31st August
Friday is opening night and the first chance for members of the public to see award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce starring in Michael Attenborough's production of King Lear at the Almeida. This adds to the already rich and varied choice of Shakespearean drama on offer in London this summer, largely thanks to the World Shakespeare Festival which started in April and continues until September. Among the current festival highlights is Gregory Doran's production of Julius Caesar which started earlier this month at the Noel Coward Theatre, starring Ray Fearon, Paterson Joseph, Jeffery Kisson and Cyril Nri. Simon Russell Beale has been highly praised for his compelling performance in Nicholas Hytner's excellent production of Timon of Athens at the National Theatre with the topical crisis in capitalism set in modern Mayfair and Canary Wharf. Recently opened is Troilus and Cressida, a hotly anticipated collaboration between the New York-based Wooster Group and the RSC, co-directed by Elizabeth LeCompte and Mark Ravenhill; catch it at the Riverside Studios until 8th September, the second last day of the Paralympics. The British Museum's Shakespeare: Staging The World exhibition is also part of the festival and certainly worth seeing. And Shakespeare fans will also appreciate Mark Rylance starring as Richard III in an all-male production at Shakespeare's Globe, the first time the actor has returned to the theatre since he ran the place, serving as its artistic director for a decade between 1995 and 2005. Catch the play at the reconstructed Jacobean theatre before it transfers to the Apollo Theatre in the West End from 6th November.