Darkside, a radio play written by Academy Award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard forBBC Radio 2, incorporating the music from Pink Floyd‘s iconic The Dark Side of the Moon, is released worldwide as a deluxe CD package on November 25, and available to pre-order now on Amazon. Distributed worldwide by ADA for Parlophone/Warner Music Group, the play was an original commission by Radio 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s album, and was broadcast on August 26, 2013.
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.
David Gilmour: “I found the script of Tom’s play fascinating; I can’t think of a better way to celebrate The Dark Side of The Moon’s 40 year anniversary.”
Nick Mason: “I love it. If anyone is going to mess with the crown jewel of albums, Tom is a very good choice.”
Bill Nighy: “To get a combination of Tom Stoppard and Pink Floyd…is a massive deal, a marriage made in radio heaven.”
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.