Darkside, a radio play written by Academy Award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard for BBC Radio 2, incorporating the music from Pink Floyd’s iconic The Dark Side of the Moon was released today as a deluxe CD package. The play was an original commission by BBC Radio 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s album. The play was originally broadcast on August 26, c2013.
Tom Stoppard says, “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 of 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 Storm Studios, based on the specially-created Aardman Animations piece used to publicize the broadcast. The full play script includes all the dialogue and stage directions, plus Roger Waters’ original lyrics from the album. A second disc will feature text translations in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin and Japanese.
Darkside incorporates music and lyrics from The Dark Side of the Moon which serves as the underscore to an abstract and compelling interpretation of the album’s series of grand themes, which are both thought-provoking and laced with Stoppard’s characteristic wit and humour. The play follows Emily, a philosophy student, through a series of thought experiments, which are vividly brought to life by a cast of characters portrayed by Bill Nighy, Rufus Sewell and others.