Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Pink Floyd’s seminal 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon, playwright Sir Tom Stoppard has written a new, original play for BBC Radio 2, called simply, Dark Side. Though it sounds a bit like it could also be the title for a Lord Vader spin off series from Star Wars, it’s actually a psychedelic drama that investigates the same issues that inspired the album, including the greed of man, our state of conflict, time and mental illness.
Set to air on the summer bank holiday, 26th August 2013, the surreal drama has an impressive cast with Olivier Award winning actor, Iwan Rheon, taking on the lead role. Bill Nighy (Arthur Christmas), Rufus Sewell (Dark City, The Holiday, A Knight’s Tale) and Adrian Scarborough are also set to star in the Stoppard production.
The Academy Award winning playwright was inspired to write the story because of a combination of his own love of Pink Floyd’s music and the memory of first being approached to write a play based on the album by a friend back when it was first released in 1973. As well as leaning heavily in favour of the album’s themes, the hour long play will also feature the music from Dark Side of the Moon to underpin what is promising to be a fantastical tale.
It’ll be a surprise if an extended version of the play doesn’t get picked up for a stage run eventually, but the cool thing about the radio production is that listeners will simply have the words and music, letting their mind’s eye fill in the psych setting and visuals that it will inevitably conjure up.
Sir Tom Stoppard commented, “This is more or less, I think, the first time anything like this has been done on radio”, so expect there to be a very unconventional style to the play.
It’s also gone down well with Pink Floyd legend, David Gilmour, who said that he can’t wait to hear the play come to life with such an impressive cast and the music from The Dark Side of the Moon. It’s definitely going to be a cool way to celebrate the 40 years of amazing music the album has provided.