This may well be my most trippy experience of the Fringe. We take our reclined cinema-style seats in the 360 degrees ShowDome (the nearest thing you’ll get to virtual reality without a headset) and relax. We are about to enter the weird and wonderful world of Pink Floyd, psychedelia and abstractionism.
The experience of Dark Side of the Moon (in the context of this show), feels like a cross between falling into a kaleidoscope, an 80s Amstrad screen saver, an LSD trip, an animated Dali painting, and space. This, of course, all set to the musical back catalogue of the iconic 60s/70s band, in pulsating stereo surround sound. Tracks like ‘Time’ and ‘Money” are more literal in their representation, with dollar bills, cash registers and clocks flying around the enormous overhead screen. At moments such as these, the graphics feel dated, even naff, and the timing can be ever so slightly out of sync with the music. There’s also a bit too much kaleidoscoping going on – it starts to feel a bit repetitive (and makes us woozy).
But at other times the effects are just phenomenal. You’d swear the entire audience was actually spinning at one point, with all the energy of a virtual, abstract rollercoaster. The bits in space are arguably the best, as we visit the unexplored Dark Side of the Moon. Planet earth flies low above us – it’s so real we fight the temptation to duck as she passes. The sun blazes with fire and we fly the length of our solar system with all the magical wonder of children. All the while phenomenal sounds pulsate around us in what is a delightfully weird and unique journey.
Dark Side of the Moon takes us to places – real and imagined – we could never otherwise visit. It’s the stuff of dark dreams come to life for 45 minutes.