As part of the nine-month Identity exhibition at London’s Wellcome Collection (Identity: Eight rooms, nine lives – 26 November 2009 – 06 April 2010) Billy Bragg and his band are performing Pressure Drop, a play ‘of passion and prejudice” written by Mick Gordon. The play (19 April-12 May, 2010) explores what it means to be English.
From the Wellcome Collection website:
Pressure Drop’ is the latest work from On Theatre and Mick Gordon. Asking a central question – what makes me who I am? – it explores the individual, familial, social and political reference points that make a person definable and recognisable to themselves and others.
Part play, part gig, part installation, the event presents three generations of a white, working-class English family struggling to define themselves both in relation to one another and within a changing social landscape. At the heart of the work lies a paradox. Our identities are continually in flux, but at the same time we need a firm sense of rootedness, of belonging to something stable.
‘Pressure Drop’ sees Gordon join forces with legendary singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. In his book ‘The Progressive Patriot’, Bragg explores what it means to be English in contemporary Britain. Reflecting on his family, their history and revisiting the music that originally inspired him, Bragg challenges versions of patriotism proposed by the far right. For the production he will write and perform new work.
A review in Spinner and the trailer below: