Plays by David Haig

My Boy Jack  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

David Haig's play My Boy Jack is a dramatised account of how the writer Rudyard Kipling sent his son to his death in the First World War. It was first performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, on 13 October 1997 (previews from 9 October).

The play opens in September 1913, in the drawing room at ‘Batemans’, the Kiplings' home in Sussex. War with Germany is imminent, and Rudyard Kipling is set on sending his severely short-sighted son, John (known as 'Jack'), to war. The plan triggers a bitter family conflict which leaves Britain's renowned patriot devastated by the warring of his own greatest passions: his love for children – above all his own – and his devotion to King and Country.

The premiere production was directed by John Dove and designed by Michael Taylor. It was performed by David Haig (as Rudyard Kipling), Belinda Lang, John Light (as John Kipling), Sarah Howe, Billy Carter, Fred Ridgeway and Dermot Kerrigan.

The play was revived at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, in 2004, and toured the UK. It was filmed for television in 2007, with Daniel Radcliffe as Jack and the author himself as Kipling.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

David Haig's play Pressure is a historical drama based on the true story of the weather forecaster who was charged with deciding on the date for D-Day, the Allied invasion of France in June 1944. It was first performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, on 1 May 2014 in a co-production between The Lyceum and Chichester Festival Theatre.

The play's action begins on 2 June 1944, at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Portsmouth, England. 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.

The premiere production was directed by John Dove and designed by Colin Richmond. It was performed by David Haig (as James Stagg), Scott Gilmour, Anthony Bowers, Gilly Gilchrist, Robert Jack, Michael Mackenzie, Laura Rogers, Malcolm Sinclair, Tim Beckmann and Alister Cameron.

The production transferred to the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, on 31 May 2014. It was revived on a UK tour in February 2018, with performances at Park Theatre, London, in March 2018, and transferred to the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End in June 2018.

David Haig is an actor and playwright. His stage plays include My Boy Jack and The Good Samaritan (both for Hampstead Theatre, London) and Pressure (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, and Minerva Theatre, Chichester). My Boy Jack was filmed for ITV, starring David, Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrall, and broadcast in November 2007.
His distinguished acting career includes West End appearances in Yes, Prime Minister (a transfer from Chichester); Art, Dead Funny (a transfer from Hampstead), Journey’s End, The Country Wife and The Sea. At the National Theatre he appeared in Alan Ayckbourn’s House/Garden, and at the Royal Court in Hitchcock Blonde and The Recruiting Officer. He has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing, amongst others, Angelo in Trevor Nunn’s production of Measure for Measure. He won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for Our Country’s Good at the Royal Court, and received nominations for Mary Poppins and Donkeys’ Years, both in the West End.
His television and film appearances include Yes, Prime Minister, Mo, The Wright Way, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Thin Blue Line, Talking Heads and Crime and Punishment.