David Haig is a man of many talents. Not only is he an Olivier Award-winning stage actor, he’s a much-loved screen actor and award-winning writer, too. Following the success of his first play (and later, film adaptation) My Boy Jack, David wrote Pressure – a wartime thriller based on the true events leading up to the D Day landings.
Pressure originally started life in Edinburgh, before embarking on a national tour – and it’s now playing at the Park Theatre. The show also this week announced a West End transfer, testament to its brilliance.
As 350,000 troops prepare to be deployed across the Channel, Scottish meteorologist Dr James Stagg (played by David) must advise General Eisenhower (Malcolm Sinclair) on the weather conditions for D Day. However, Irving P Krick (Tim Beckmann) – a Hollywood meteorological movie consultant – contradicts Stagg’s prediction of heavy storms and winds, and the fate of the soldiers and the world depend on them getting it right.
If that wasn’t enough drama to convince you to see it, here are some additional reasons to nab a ticket to Pressure.
David Haig and the other world-class performers
Though everyone knows his face and his work, we don’t get to see David on stage enough. As Stagg, he’s fragile yet strong, innocent yet knowledgeable. David evokes true affection for him despite the character’s abrasiveness.
In addition to David, the cast is made up of incredible actors who seamlessly navigate the stage and bring the intensity of the situation to life.
It makes weather interesting
We’ve all chatted about the weather to fill awkward silences but Pressure makes drizzle and sunshine fascinating. It reveals a whole new side of warfare that you’ve probably never considered. It teaches you a thing or two about the complexity of British weather. It makes you intrigued about pressure patterns and jet streams. It quite literally takes an integral British pastime and turns it into a life or death situation.
In addition to revealing the importance topics of polite conversation had on the war, Pressure gives a unique point of view on World War II. Opposed to the terrors of young men on the frontline, we see the tension and responsibility of those behind closed doors. Revealing the process and heavy-heartedness that came with making the decisions, David’s interpretation of events makes the often scoffed at leaders human.
War Life vs Real Life
Though the war was all-encompassing, life very much carried on. Pressure showed the tender relationships formed between officers during the height of conflict, as well as the continuation of life outside the bubble.