Audiences are invited to a gritty fly-on-the-wall World War I drama when the Lichfield Players present ‘My Boy Jack’ in the Garrick Studio next month.
The play, which depicts emotions and events surrounding Rudyard Kipling’s determination to send his teenage son to war, runs from 21st May for five nights.
Initially set in 1913, World War I is imminent and Rudyard Kipling’s short-sighted son Jack fails his Army medical to sign up. Driven by his father’s expectations and patriotic pride, Jack finally enlists through a family contact and is despatched to France to fight. But when news reaches home that sends the Kiplings into turmoil, Rudyard is forced to question what really matters and to confront his own internal conflict between duty and love.
“‘My Boy Jack’ is a fantastically powerful and moving account of the mental anguish and grief of one of Britain’s most famous storytellers – and the man whose poem ‘If’ is regularly voted the nation’s most favourite,” said director Chris Stanley. “Although he only had one son, Rudyard believed no sacrifice was too great for King and country. His views triggered a bitter conflict at home and the tension depicted in the play between Rudyard and his family is electric.
“We’ve kept staging simple to draw the audience into really focusing in on each individual character’s drama. And the intimate studio venue will help to heighten the nervous anticipation of the trench scenes, and give the audience a real sense of living the raw and sometimes polarised emotions of a family in despair.”
‘My Boy Jack’ opens just weeks after the release of 50 previously unpublished Kipling poems, several dating from the first world war. More poignantly though, the run starts just two days after the hundredth anniversary of the failed army medical which should have saved Jack’s life.
The Lichfield Players present David Haig’s ‘My Boy Jack’ at the Lichfield Garrick from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th May. Tickets are priced at £10 (£9 unwaged/ senior citizens; £7 students).
To book call the box office on 01543 412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.