Entertainment & Arts

Aardman animates trailer to Radio 2 Pink Floyd play

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Media captionThe three-minute trailer uses the soundtrack of Eclipse from Dark Side of the Moon.

Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit, has unveiled a trailer for Sir Tom Stoppard's play Darkside, based on the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon.

The seminal prog-rock album celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Sir Tom's play, which stars About Time actor Bill Nighy, will be broadcast on Radio 2 on 26 August.

Described as a "philosophical comedy", the play also stars Rufus Sewell as superhero Ethics Man.

Released in March 1973, Dark Side of the Moon was the eighth studio album by the British band and thematically explored ideas such as greed and conflict.

It was also partly influenced by the mental illness suffered by former lead singer Syd Barrett, who left the band in 1968.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Front Row, Sir Tom said: "I used a lot of the album, well all of it other than the lyrics, as a kind of underscore. I was picking up emotional cues from the music.

"I called [guitarist and singer] David Gilmour and asked: 'Do you mind if I write dialogue on top of your instrumental pieces?', and he said ,'Of course not'."

'Spirit of the album'

James Robinson, producer of BBC radio drama said: "The album represents the ultimate immersive listening experience - you put on a pair of headphones, open your ears and travel somewhere else.

"We thought it would be interesting to see what sort of a journey the album takes Tom Stoppard on. Tom is a huge fan of Pink Floyd and the idea really fired his imagination."

Aardman's three-minute long trailer is a montage of disturbing images of a world seemingly on the verge of collapse, huge ploughs ripping up landscapes and skies filled with warplanes.

It also features a voiceover warning of the consequence of mankind's consumption of the planet's natural resources and uses the soundtrack of Eclipse from Dark Side of the Moon.

Sir Tom, 76, added the play was not a direct interpretation of the songs on the album, which includes the tracks Money, On The Run and The Great Gig in the Sky.

"I didn't try to make a story that was the album writ large in any way," he said. " I invented a little story in the spirit of the album, taking a cue as to what level of reality this story might be on."

In the lead-up to the programme, Radio 2 will broadcast a number of programmes to complement and celebrate the album's anniversary.

The interview with Sir Tom Stoppard is available on the iPlayer.

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