Skip to Content

North American Premiere of David Haig’s PRESSURE

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Karastamatis, Sue Toth, Randy Alldread – Mirvish Productions

North American Premiere of David Haig’s "Intense and Deeply Affecting”- The Telegraph

WWII Drama Based on a True Story  

Starring Downtown Abbey’s Kevin Doyle

Tickets go on sale Saturday October 1

David Mirvish is pleased to present the North American premiere of Pressure, written by British stage and screen star and playwright David Haig and directed by John Dove (Farinelli and the King on Broadway starring Mark Rylance).

Performances begin January 24 to March 5, 2023 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre

The Story 

D-Day, June 1944. The Allied forces led by General Eisenhower are poised to invade continental Europe from Britain. The decision of when to launch the invasion comes down to the weather. What date will have the best conditions to cross the notoriously dangerous English Channel

There are two meteorologists advising Eisenhower. Scottish Group Captain James Stagg is the chief meteorologist, who believes that, despite a prolonged heatwave, weather conditions will suddenly deteriorate on the day the invasion is planned. But American meteorologist Colonel Irving P. Krick strongly disagrees. He forecasts another calm sunny day.

The most accurate weather forecast is a matter of life and death for the 350,000 people involved in the invasion, and for the millions of people whose freedom was denied by the German occupation of Europe.

The Play and Production

John Dove, then Associate Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, had approached David Haig about writing a new play. When Haig delivered the play a few years later a co-production was struck between the Lyceum and the Chichester Festival. For the premiere production, Haig, one of the UK’s most lauded actors, took on the role of Stagg himself. In an interview with the Scotsman newspaper, Haig explained: "One thing I am drawing on is people who carry anxiety well camouflaged within an apparently confident exterior. That's me, but it also happens to be James Stagg. His brusqueness, his efficiency, his professionalism is what came out on the top, but inside he's extremely anxious about the whole scenario. He goes through a journey in trying to keep it together.” 

The production played the Lyceum for the month of May 2014, transferring to the Chichester Festival for the month of June. It was met with excellent reviews and enthusiastic audiences.

Pressure was revived for a UK tour in 2018 before transferring to the Ambassador Theatre in London’s West End.

★★★★★ “Hugely Recommended. A Perfect D-Day Storm!!” - Mail on Sunday

★★★★★ “Funny, tense and deeply affecting” - The Telegraph

★★★★  “David Haig takes us into the eye of the D-day storm... in a show with a powerful contemporary resonance” - The Guardian

★★★★ “A gripping drama about unsung heroes, responsibility, integrity and the nature of bravery” - Financial Times

★★★★ “tense, funny and moving” - The Independent

★★★★ “gripping” - Daily Express

★★★★ “David Haig shines in splendidly written D-Day play. John Dove’s perfectly pitched production has us increasingly enthralled." - Evening Standard

★★★★★ “Sharp, witty and affecting” - The Observer

★★★★ “Tense, amusing, illuminating” - The Times

★★★★ “Splendid war time tale of a weather-beating Briton” - Metro

★★★★ “Stimulating drama” - London Theatre

★★★★ “David Haig's meteorological D-Day thriller is a burst of sunshine” - WhatsOnStage

“David Haig’s Gripping New Play” - Sunday Express

“David Haig’s Gripping Play About War and Weather” - Sunday Times

Mirvish Productions' staff saw the production and arranged for it to play Toronto in 2020. That production was delayed because of you-know-what. The company is delighted to finally be able to present it at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Award-winning director John Dove revives his acclaimed production for Toronto. As James Stagg, he has cast Kevin Doyle  best known for his role as Mr Mosely in the Downton Abbey series and movies, but also renowned for his many roles in productions at the National Theatre and with other major companies.

Pressure also stars Olivier nominee Malcolm Sinclair (Casino Royale, Royal National Theatre) and Laura Rogers (The 39 Steps, West End), who reprise their roles as General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby respectively.

The cast also includes Phil Cairns as Colonel Irving P. Krick, David Killick as the Electrician and Admiral Bertram “Bertie” Ramsay, William Mannering as Lieutenant Battersby/Captain Johns, Molly Roberts as the Secretary, Robert Heard as Hamilton, Stuart Milligan as Commander Franklin/General “Tooey” Spaatz, David Sibley as Air Chief Marshall Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, and Matthew Darcy as Andrew. John Vernon and Luke Jasztal are the Understudies.

Director Dove has reassembled his original creative team for this revival: set and costume design by Colin Richmond, lighting design by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Philip Pinsky, video design by Andrzej Goulding and casting by Gabrielle Dawes and Lisa Makin. 

find out more about the show