Billy Bragg to try stage production
Billy Bragg is raising the curtain on a new stage in his career - by turning to theatre, it has been announced.
The musician has written the songs for a new theatrical production to be staged in the spring, in which he will also appear.
Bragg, who is currently campaigning against bankers' bonuses, will be joined by his band in Pressure Drop, which is billed as "part play, part gig, part art installation".
The work has been commissioned as part of the Wellcome Trust's Identity Project which has also included exhibitions and discussions. It is being staged at the Wellcome Collection in London.
Writer Mick Gordon was inspired to create the play - which examines the sense of British identity - after reading Bragg's book The Progressive Patriot. It is being staged by On Theatre.
Named after the Toots And The Maytals hit, the production deals with the pressures on the white working class community through the eyes of three generations.
Bragg said: "I have never done anything like this before, mixing songs with theatre is a totally new experience for me. Given that music makes a significant contribution to many people's sense of who they are, I am very excited to be working with On Theatre and the Wellcome Collection on their Identity Project."
Gordon said: "Defining what makes us who we are is no easy task. It is a fluid preoccupation that dwells in us all."
Clare Matterson, director of medicine, society and history at the Wellcome Trust, added: "In Pressure Drop, Mick Gordon and Billy Bragg raise topical questions about human identity in contemporary Britain."
Pressure Drop is being staged from April 19 to May 12.