Tom Stoppard + Pink Floyd
August 27, 2013 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Tom Stoppard's new play Darkside (free next 6 days) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. A fantastical story about fear, philosophy and madness interwoven with the lyrics and music of the album. Interview.
posted by stbalbach (21 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

I mean, uh, I am looking forward to what will no doubt be a thought-provoking work.
posted by kyrademon at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

That was unexpected. I knew Stoppard was fascinated with Syd Barret; I didn't realize his interest extended to Waters-Gilmour era Floyd. Thanks, stbalbach!
posted by Iridic at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2013

What's really awesome is you can watch it to the soundtrack of Wizard of Oz!
posted by ardgedee at 12:49 PM on August 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

Actually, because I was multitasking, I ended up with one window playing the BBC2 take on Syria and the other playing Bruce Dunning's "Back from Da Nang" at the same time. It was pretty creepy.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2013

...Darkside, a new radio play starring Bill Nighy and Rufus Sewell.

Arcadia mini-reunion! Needs more Felicity Kendal, though.
posted by Iridic at 12:55 PM on August 27, 2013

Riding home from work today, I noticed someone was flying a flag of the DSOTM cover art in the little English village nearest work. Considering this place seems more like the setting of The (bloody) Archers, I thought it was cool.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2013

The radio play begins at 5m 10s.
posted by gwint at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dear Aardman, please make a full length video to this album. I just about shit myself when I saw the trailer because I thought it was a full feature.
posted by capnmarrrrk at 1:25 PM on August 27, 2013

Somewhat apropros?: a blistering bluegrass cover of Time (Reprise).
posted by Iridic at 1:30 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dear Aardman, please make a full length video to this album. I just about shit myself when I saw the trailer because I thought it was a full feature.

Darkside - watch with accompanying animated visuals
posted by mykescipark at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Somewhat apropros?: a blistering bluegrass cover of Time (Reprise) yt .

Are we doing that? Yay! Dub version of Dark Side of the Moon.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:10 PM on August 27, 2013

I thought about posting this yesterday but didn't have time, thanks stbalbach.

It's a nice creepy little radio play.
posted by emjaybee at 2:17 PM on August 27, 2013

It won't play for me, unless I am supposed to listen to tons of BBC news prior to getting to the play?
posted by cjorgensen at 3:25 PM on August 27, 2013

That's how they do it at the BBC's iPlayer. They just record the live radio feed, however long the programme is due to last, plus a few minutes before and after. I guess it makes it easier for them to automate the process.
posted by Nossidge at 4:16 PM on August 27, 2013

Yes, they have left the top of the hour news in the stream, just skip forward. Auntie puts almost all the programs on all its stations (though I'm not sure about sport) online for seven days, automation by time slot is basically the only sane way to proceed for that much programming, hence the somewhat sloppy timing. I have noticed that Radio 3 has taken to retroactively trimming things somewhat, but as they do a lot of live broadcasting of inherently slightly unpredictable concerts that makes some sense. The other music/talk stations normally stick close to their scheduled slots, with Radio 4 being the strictest (time signal broadcasts make overrunning impossible).
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 5:01 PM on August 27, 2013

So... is the play nearly 2 hours long, or is it just under an hour long? The length of the audio-only is 117 minutes, the "watch with accompanying visuals" is 56 minutes. I'd rather not start the video version if it's abridged or suddenly just stops...
posted by hippybear at 6:06 PM on August 27, 2013

56 minutes is the full play without the intro, 2hrs looks like an error.
posted by stbalbach at 6:19 PM on August 27, 2013

Stoppard inserts Syd into 2006's Rock'n'Roll, which otherwise was largely a meditation on his good fortune in emigrating to the West when he did. At least that's what I got out of it.

Since my now-deceased bandmate, a genius guitarist who loved and lived for the music Stoppard bulds that play around also emigrated to the West from Prague before the wall dropped but remained mired in poverty and depression until he killed himslef, my view of the play was jaundiced.

Which was truly disappointing. So I guess you might say I'm hesitant and doubtful about his continuing down this path. Rock music is great; plays about rock music and rock musicians have a spotty track record, which seems to be pursuant to the 'dancing about architecture' rule.
posted by mwhybark at 12:31 AM on August 28, 2013

I'm afraid that Stoppard is losing it a bit. His earlier work was really good. But this - a series of grade school philosophy observations tacked on top of a great piece of music - didn't work for me.

He did make a good decision to cut that horrible sax solo in 'Money' but then made the terrible decision to overlay anything on top of Wright's sublime 'The Great Gig in the Sky'.
posted by vacapinta at 3:12 AM on August 28, 2013

mykescipark link takes you to the 56 minute + visuals.
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:38 AM on August 28, 2013

I have to disagree with vacapinta. I think it could certainly be viewed that way, but the play spoke to me. I was sort of gutted by the time it ended. To be fair, someone I loved deeply, who was my pink Floyd buddy for the majority of my early years, lost the fight to schizophrenia and killed himself as I was preparing to defend my dissertation in philosophy, so the play locked into some deep hooks in my psyche, but I wish I could save it and listen to it again, to see if the impact lessens with exposure, now that a scab I didn't know was still there has been scoured open. I'm too raw to hear it again right now, and perhaps the late hour and week of little sleep has colored my view. As art, it connected with me, and that is everything I can expect of art.
posted by dejah420 at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2013

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