Pressure by David Haig
Theatre Royal Bath
This is a fascinating play by David Haig which charts the real life story of two allied meteorologists who were responsible for predicting the weather forecast for the D Day Landings 1942. 72 hours prior to the D-Day landings, Scottish meteorologist, Group Captain James Stagg, advises General Eisenhower on the weather conditions likely to prevail when 350,000 troops are to be sent across the Channel in Operation Overlord. With Stagg predicting severe storms and Irving P. Krick – Hollywood’s meteorological movie consultant – predicting beautiful weather, the future of Britain, Europe and the United States rests on one single forecast.
The research is understandably meticulous and detailed with a great deal of information embedded in the dialogue.
There are moments of humour and the excellent cast ensure the pace never falters; the mounting tension between Stagg (David Haig) a matter of fact Scotsman with the American hollywood weather chaser Krick (Philip Cairns) is palpable. The defence of their professionalism is well developed whilst General Einsenhower (Malcolm Sinclair) has the task of choosing whose forecast will prevail alongside his long standing companion Kay Summersby (Laura Rogers.) The end of the project brings a mix of emotions to all, yet the war effort rolls on.
It is certainly a vital untold story of WW2 which will be relished by those who manage to get a ticket. Whilst it is not action packed the pressure and power of the natural world plays its part in such a pivotal moment in the history of the conflict.