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Pink Floyd, Tom Stoppard
2 CD + BOOK
Darkside is a deluxe CD play written by Tom Stoppard for BBC Radio 2, incorporating music from Pink Floyd’s iconic The Dark Side of the Moon to mark the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s album.
Tom Stoppard said: “When The Dark Side of the Moon was a new album in 1973, a friend of mine walked into my room where I was working with a copy in his hand and said ‘You really have to do a play about this album.’ So, when, roughly 39-and-a-half years later, Jeff Smith from Radio 2 asked me if I’d like to do some kind of play around the 40th birthday of the Pink Floyd album, it really wasn’t a very difficult decision.”
Produced in collaboration with Sir Tom Stoppard’s publishers Faber and Faber, the luxury package resembles a hard-backed book, including a CD carrying the 54-minute play, which includes the majority of the Dark Side of the Moon album, plus a 56-page bound insert of the play’s script. The cover features artwork by Hipgnosis designer Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell in collaboration with StormStudios, based on the specially-created Aardman Animations piece used to publicise the broadcast. The full play script includes all the dialogue and stage directions, plus Roger Waters’ original lyrics from the album.
Darkside is an abstract and compelling drama which follows Emily, a philosophy student, through a series of thought experiments, which are vividly brought to life. The play also ranges over a series of grand themes, which are both thought provoking and laced with Stoppard’s characteristic wit and humour. The cast is impressive, with Bill Nighy as Dr Antrobus/the Witch Finder, Rufus Sewell is Mr Baggott/Ethics Man, Adrian Scarborough is Fat Man and Emily is Amaka Okafor.
The Dark Side of the Moon remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. With an estimated 50 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time.