Pressure @ Park Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/pressure
Running until: 28th April 2018
Production photos by: Robert Day

David Haig leads a fantastic cast in his own play which takes place in one weather forecast room ahead of D-Day in June 1944. Based on a true story, Haig plays Group Captain James Stagg, a meteorologist hired by General Eisenhower to help influence the decision to put 350,000 lives at stake in, what boils down to, the most important weather forecast of all time.

David Haig in Pressure. Photo by Robert Day

David Haig’s script creates a compelling drama. Although he is supported by a strong yet, at times, an overpopulated ensemble, he is very much driving this vehicle. I found the play to be very accessible and very informative about this man who seems to have been brushed aside from history. Haig’s writing gets right into the action from the start and has no time for waffled set ups, although, I did find the meteorology jargon flew over my head at times. There is a smaller B plot storyline where Stagg is missing the birth of his second child, which I felt could have possibly been more fleshed out. At the same time, this allowed the audience to see another layer to Stagg, that this man wasn’t defined by his job, no matter how many times Eisenhower calls him a “son of a bitch” in the show.

Robert Heard, Bert Seymour & David Haig (l-r) in Pressure. Photo by Robert Day

Colin Richmond’s set design of the forecast room is beautiful. The atmosphere really comes alive with the addition of Tim Mitchell’s lighting and Andrzej Goulding’s stunning video design which help transition the scenes smoothly.  The play does work well in the small space it is given, but I can imagine it will be even better when Pressure transfers to the Ambassador Theatre in June.

Until next time,

hayley-sprout-transparent

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