Auditions

The following auditions are currently scheduled:

Pressure

by David Haig
directed by Jan Palmer Sayer

Playing Dates

Monday 29th March to Saturday 3rd April 2021 (to be confirmed)

Audition Dates

Sunday 5th January at 10am and 6pm via Zoom.

"I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good Luck!" Dwight Eisenhower

An intense real-life thriller centred around the most important weather forecast in the history of warfare.

June, 1944. One man’s decision is about to change the course of history. Everything is in place for the biggest invasion ever known in Europe – D-Day. One last crucial question remains: will the weather be right on the day? Problematically there are two opposing forecasts. American celebrity weatherman Colonel Krick predicts sunshine, while Scot Dr James Stagg, Chief Meteorological Officer for the Allied Forces, forecasts a storm. As the world watches and waits, General Eisenhower, Allied Supreme Commander, must decide which of these bitter antagonists to trust. The decision will not only seal the fates of thousands of men, but could win or lose the entire war. An extraordinary and little-known true story, David Haig's play thrillingly explores the responsibilities of leadership, the challenges of prophecy and the personal toll of taking a stand.

I saw this play at Chichester in the summer of 2014, marking the fiftieth anniversary of this climatic battle. It is a tense, funny and ultimately moving piece of writing as the atmosphere within the claustrophobic, makeshift weather room builds as each weather expert has to predict which weather front will reach the channel first. The narrative line is strong, the dialogue realistic and snappy and the characters expertly pitted against each other. It makes for very gripping stuff indeed.

We are probably looking at a live zoom production, given current circumstances, and this beautifully crafted play lends itself well to that simple media. Should things change and return to normal, we can look at different ways of presenting this, but for now, we are planning for a live zoom show, with actors performing at the same time as the audience are watching it. Fun, eh?

There are 3 main characters* who carry the majority of the weight, but there are plenty of other smaller roles too, some of which may be doubled as indicated below:

Cast of characters

*Group Captain Dr James Stagg
*Kay Summersby
Flight-Lieutenant Andrew Carter
Lieutenant Battersby/Captain Johns
Petty Officer Jack Hamilton
*General D “Ike” Eisenhower
Colonel Irving P Krick
Electrician/Admiral Bertram “Bertie “ Ramsay
Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory
General “Tooey” Spaatz/Commander Franklin

We need to find the most interesting way of bringing this play to glorious life via zoom. The play is in several scenes which we can connect using cloud formation images for example, music of the period and whatever other means we can find. Ken Allford and Derek Palmer are already on board, but I would very much welcome technical and musical help as well as a fine group of actors who want to get to grips with a superb script.

Because Zoom is what it is, and this is a lengthy two-act play, we are going to offer it as a mini-series with performances probably as follows:

Mon 29th and Wed 31st - Act 1; Tue 30th and Thu 1st April - Act 2, with the whole play being performed on Fri 2nd and Sat 3rd April. Rehearsals will be 3 times per week, and lines will be learned.

We need to keep our little theatre alive, and this play is a truly excellent one - whether it is staged on a digital or, if the miracle happens, our actual stage.

Copies are available from Derek and please let him know if you intend to audition and on which session.

Jan Palmer Sayer jpsayer@yahoo.com 07768 431870
Derek Palmer derek.palmer1@btopenworld.com 07860 573896

Please note that you don’t have to be a member of CoPs in order to audition, though you will need to join if cast.