Visual interpretation of Tubular Bells will be ‘great joy’, says Samuel West

Watching a visual interpretation of Mike Oldfield’s album Tubular Bells will be a “great joy”, according to actor Samuel West.

The All Creatures Great And Small star is taking on the master of ceremony role for the performance, which is being staged at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

The performance marks the 50th anniversary of composer and songwriter Oldfield beginning to work on the hit album, which was released in 1973.

Tubular Bells/Oldfield 2
Mike Oldfield (Peter Jordan/PA)

West is taking on the role Vivian Stanshall played during the original recording.

The actor told the PA news agency he is an “enormous fan” of the album.

He added: “I was seven in 1973 when my big sister, who was 10 years older than me, played me [Pink Floyd’s] Dark Side Of The Moon and Tubular Bells, those two great 1973 albums.

“They remain unlike any I’d heard before, really.”

West said he did not “want to copy Stanshall”.

HE added: “But at the same time, it’s such a classic performance and they are basically the only words in it.

“You don’t want to change them too much either.

“It’s like raising a glass to him I think, so that’s what I have tried to do.”

The show will see Circa Contemporary Circus, who are based in Brisbane, Australia, interpret the music through dance and acrobatics.

On Chesil Beach Premiere – BFI London Film Festival 2017
Samuel West (Matt Crossick/PA)

“The music comes first and the acrobatics is a response to that rather than something that’s meant to distract or overlay it,” West said.

“I think it should be a compliment to it.”

Being able to stage the performance in front of a full capacity will be “a great joy”, West said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing it myself at the end of the week.

“It’s been such a terrible time in the last 18 months for music.”

The first performance will be staged for the first time on Saturday.

Oldfield previously said of the performance: “It’s amazing to think that it’s 50 years since I started writing Tubular Bells, and I am touched that my music has reached so many people, all over the world, during that time.”

He added: “I am sure that the 50th anniversary live concert experience of Tubular Bells will be spectacular, theatrical, fantastical and thrilling.”