Saturday, September 21, 2013

Images of the Dark Side: The BBC's Darkside teaser

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Last month, BBC Radio 2 aired a play (with visuals on the website) -- Darkside -- based on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, in my view the greatest album of all time. It also released a teaser video that you can watch below:

Legendary playwright Sir Tom Stoppard has penned this drama, which features Bill Nighy, Rufus Sewell and Adrian Scarborough, with the lead roles played by Olivier Award-winning Iwan Rheon (Misfits) and stage actress Amaka Okafor (The Garbage King).

The visuals have been created by Aardman Animations of Wallace and Gromit fame.

I was on vacation and missed the play, but apparently it's going to be aired again this year. I suppose I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also skeptical. Pink Floyd's music speaks to me in ways that touch me deeply, more so than any other music I've ever heard, more so than The Beatles, Porcupine Tree, and Bruce Springsteen. I don't really need, or want, to hear anyone else's "take." However interesting it may be, I would undoubtedly find it lacking, including as a play.

And while there have always been visuals to go along with the music -- I've seen them in concert, which are multimedia events, they've produced videos (of sorts) for many of their songs, and of course The Wall is also a movie (if one not nearly as good as the album) -- the music has always come first, inspiring thoughts and feelings, and images in one's mind, that cannot adequately be captured visually, just as they cannot adequately be captured narratively.

But if this amazing teaser is any indication, it's a worthy and respectful play, and maybe something that can be added to the list of essential artworks about, or inspired by, Pink Floyd.


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