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.

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.