Press release

Cast announced for 'Pressure Drop' at Wellcome Collection

Playwright Mick Gordon and Director Christopher Haydon are delighted to announce the cast for ‘Pressure Drop’, the first major theatrical production at Wellcome Collection.

This bold new drama, featuring songs from Billy Bragg and his band, is the latest performance arts project from On Theatre and will be taking place at Wellcome Collection's largest gallery space with a limited run.

  • Part play, part gig, part installation, 'Pressure Drop' is a drama of passion and prejudice running for 20 nights only, 19 April-12 May, 19.30 (excluding Sundays) at Wellcome Collection.
  • Press night is 22 April 2010.
  • Tickets now on sale via the box office on 0844 412 4318 or online. 

'Pressure Drop' 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. The drama is played out by eight characters in a working class town, on the periphery of London across four locations: the living room of a terraced house, a church, a working class pub and a small stage for a band.

Playing 'Nana' is June Watson (June's recent appearances include 'Another Closed Door', Theatre Royal, Bath and TV's 'Wallander'). Nana's only grandchild 'George', aged 14, is played by Shea Davis ('Every Good Boy Deserves Favour', National Theatre and the feature film 'Harry Potter'), while her eldest son - a middle aged working man named 'Jack' - is played by Michael Gould ('Our Class', National Theatre and 'Othello', RSC).

The role of Jack's wife 'Jacqui' goes to Susan Vidler ('Roaring Trade', Soho Theatre Company and 'A House in Berlin', Heartbeat Films). The character 'Tony' is Jack's best friend and is played by David Kennedy ('Law and Order', BBC TV and 'Days of Significance', RSC) with the role of 'Gay Barney' - Tony's son and the only friend of George - played by Craig Dowding (recent appearances include the feature film 'Truant' and 'Hi Way', ITV). Nana's youngest son is a boyish character 'John' who is in his late 30s and played by Justin Salinger ('Cat in a Hat', Royal National Theatre and 'The Birthday Party', Lyric Theatre). Finally, Pip Donaghy ('Deep Cut', Sharmen Theatre and 'Taking Sides/Collaboration', Chichester Theatre Festival/Duchess Theatre) takes the role of Nana's husband 'Ron', father of Jack and John.

Mick Gordon said: "I'm thrilled to have cast such esteemed names for the debut performance of 'Pressure Drop'. In common with all of On Theatre's productions, 'Pressure Drop' takes risks. I'm confident that our cast will excite, entertain and rise to the challenge of tackling difficult questions about human identity at a pertinent time in the run up to the general election."

Christopher Haydon added: "A multi-disciplinary production like 'Pressure Drop' takes a talented company and I'm delighted with the casting. I really look forward to rehearsals starting shortly."

'Pressure Drop' is part of Wellcome Trust's Identity Project, an ambitious season of activities focused on the endlessly fascinating topic of human identity.

'Pressure Drop' at Wellcome Collection
19 April-12 May, 19.30 (excluding Sundays)
Press night: 22 April 2010
£20/£15 concession
Post-show discussions will follow the performances on Thursday 29 April and 6 May and are free to same day ticket holders.

Written by Mick Gordon
Music and songs by Billy Bragg
Produced by On Theatre and Wellcome Collection
Directed by Christopher Haydon
Designed by Tom Scutt
Lighting design by Mark Howland
Sound design by Mike Furness
Sound for the band by Grant Showbiz
Casting by Nadine Rennie
Starring Billy Bragg and his band

JACK, Michael Gould
JOHN, Justin Salinger
JACQUI, Susan Vidler
GEORGE, Shea Davis
RON, Pip Donaghy
NANA, June Watson
TONY, David Kennedy
GAY BARNEY, Craig Dowding

'Pressure Drop' is a promenade production with a duration of 90 minutes. Seating is not provided. Spaces for wheelchair users available by arrangement.