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Bard of Barking show on 'volcanic ash'

PUBLISHED: 16:03 04 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:06 11 August 2010

AS MUCH a statement about the trials and tribulations of family life as it is about politics and racism, Pressure Drop was an intimate and intense experience. Part gig, part play, this raw and gripping performance was designed like an art installation whe

AS MUCH a statement about the trials and tribulations of family life as it is about politics and racism, Pressure Drop was an intimate and intense experience.

Part gig, part play, this raw and gripping performance was designed like an art installation where visitors had to walk from one stage to the next to catch the action.

The actors moved through the audience as we, in the words of Billy Bragg, were "carried on a volcanic ash cloud" and migrated around the room.

The Bard of Barking's songs to accompany the play were always moving, always insightful, with a bit of an edge.

"Home" which he opened the performance with had some lyrical wonders to offer as Bragg sang about having "a cup of mum's milky tea" and the place by the council flats where "me and me mates used to rev up our cars".

A resounding theme of the play, echoed in the chorus of "Home" was that "nothing ever changes, everything's the same as I left it".

The same sentiment was expressed by Jon (Justin Salinger), the character who most mirrored Bragg's own personal experience of returning home.

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