Having recently come back from a lovely long holiday I was wondering what on earth to write about for this Monday’s blog posting. As luck would have it I stumbled across an article on the BBC website about a new radio play by Tom Stoppard which is based on the classic 1973 album – The Dark Side Of The Moon.
Not having listened to the album for many years I decided to re-acquaint myself with it by playing my old vinyl copy. It has been many more years since I’d heard it on this format and I have to say it sounded fantastic, much better than the CD (or was that just my romantic imagining).
What is different about this posting is that it is not a review (the play has not been aired yet) but a pre-emptive strike, a notification of an imminent arrival.
Darkside (written by the playwright Tom Stoppard) is a dramatic re-imagining of the themes running through the album – so I would imagine that greed, madness and death will all be evident. It is also a celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary.
Tom Stoppard is of course no stranger to dark themes, having worked on the script for Terry Gilliam’s stunning Brazil in the 80’s. So this could prove to be a very interesting experiment.
It is not meant to be a direct retelling of the album as a play, it is supposed to be a new work which uses the music as structure and background to the events in the story. How well this works will be interesting to find out.
Strangely for a radio play it has a video trailer (a still from it can be seen above). It was created by Aardman animations and what is immediately striking about it is how un-Aardman it looks. There are elements of Manga, but what is more directly Floydian is it’s similarity to Storm Thorgerson‘s Hipgnosis album cover designs.
The radio play is due to be aired tonight (Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August 2013) on BBC Radio 2 at 22.00 (UK time).
If it works well I would love to see the play fully animated – maybe that is already on the cards considering that Aardman were commissioned to do the trailer – we shall see…!