Darkside: Tom Stoppard & Pink Floyd
Playwright Tom Stoppard, music by Pink Floyd, the acting of Bill Nighy...
Mix these three fabulous components and what have you got? An incredible radio play which was produced on the BBC to celebrate the anniversary of Dark Side of the Moon.
Who is Tom Stoppard?
Americans my not know this but he is a celebrated British (although Czechoslovakian born) playwright who was made a Knight of the British Empire in the nineteen nineties. Not only is his writing superb, he is a lovely bloke with a great sense of humor.
I know that I've no need to explain about Pink Floyd or the BBC but just in case you're not familiar with Nighy's work, he is a much-honored actor who is well on his way to being considered a legendary British thespian. So what is it that this fine combination produced?
Stoppard was, as we all were, fully familiar with Dark Side of the Moon and had previously considered using its music as the basis for a play. The anniversary of the album's release spurred him on and he was encouraged by Dave Gilmour who was entranced when he heard the script.
Why the radio?
The play incorporates on of the greatest and most successful albums ever produced. The script was written by one of the greatest playwrights live today. Who needs visuals? Many of us have listened to Dark Side of the Moon in darkened room (you have, haven't you?) and let the music take us wherever we wish. This is Stoppard's Dark Side journey.
I first saw Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead when I was studying for O levels at school. I appreciated his humour. I appreciated it even more when I found a charity cookbook that had recipes from celebrities. For his contribution Stoppard explained that he was baffled as to why every Italian restaurant he ever went to couldn't produce a decent Spaghetti Bolognaise whereas his wife could.
He found this puzzling as his wife wasn't Italian but was from Rubery in Worcestershire. He then said that he realized that the Italian restaurants were really producing the real thing - and then proceeded to give readers his wife's recipe, Spaghetti Rubery Worcs. :)