Sunday 18 March 2018

Play marks Pink Floyd anniversary

Bill Nighy voices one of the characters in the play
Bill Nighy voices one of the characters in the play

Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard has written a new radio play inspired by Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon to mark the album's 40th anniversary.

Bill Nighy and Rufus Sewell are among the cast for the play, called Dark Side, which is to be broadcast by BBC Radio 2 later this year.

Oscar-winning Sir Tom - a fan of the band - said he was first approached to write a play based on the album the year it was released.

His celebrated stage play Rock And Roll included references to former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett, whose fragile mental state led to him leaving the band before the release of Dark Side Of The Moon.

His play - to be aired over the August Bank Holiday weekend - will feature Misfits actor Iwan Rheon and stage actress Amaka Okafor in the lead roles. The BBC said it was "a fantastical and psychedelic story based on themes from the seminal album".

Sir Tom said: "This is more or less, I think, the first time anything like this has been done on radio. (I thought) Yes, I definitely want to do that but had no idea for a long time what I would do.

"Finally, I found some time and sat down and listened to the album for the thousandth time and picked up from the beginning and kept going."

Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was impressed by the production, saying: "I have read the script of Tom's radio play Dark Side and found it fascinating. I can't wait to hear it come to life with the great cast performing it and our music woven into it. I can't think of a better way to celebrate The Dark Side Of The Moon's 40 year anniversary."

The album - with its famous prism cover - spent 741 weeks in the chart from 1973 to 1988. It contains classic Floyd tracks such as Money, Time and The Great Gig In The Sky.

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