The paper describes the play which is based on a factual story which set against the background of World War 1. The play makes an analysis of Kipling and his son’s relationship, where the son is being sent to the trenches to fight for King and country regardless of his eyesight problem. Kipling’s determination in ensuring that his son enlists for the war tears the family apart, while the question of what Kipling considers to be right against the sacrifice being made creates many gripping and deeply moving moments in this fine play (Haig).
My Boy Jack is basically about Kipling's unswerving determination in getting his son recruited in the army just before the First World War starts and the consequent family rift that ensues as a result of Kipling's consummate patriotism. This playwright presents an insightful analysis of a family of their time. Here, the father is the family head and his will has to be adhered to. The dutiful and supportive wife here reluctantly obeys him, and the son wants to do his father's bidding while at the same time having to depart from home because he finds it so claustrophobic. The daughter here seems to be mature where she makes known her feelings regardless of the consequences.
(Haig). Caroline is in a dilemma where she has to choose between her loyalty to her husband and the depth of her love for her only son, fearing the likelihood of actually joining the military and going to great lengths trying to find out what transpired on the western front. Jack is just a short-sighted boy ready to bring pride to his father despite being petrified about what lies ahead when he leads his men into battle (Haig). We also see the guardsman who portrays the full extent of the trauma suffered while in the trenches. The play has a wonderfully atmospheric set: the striking Kipling home with a massive portrait of soldiers charging into battle which is turned into a trench where we see the British troops sheltering before going over the top to supposed glory. The lighting and sound increase serves to increase the tension leaving someone in no doubt about how terrifying it can be on the battlefield. Occasionally the noise of the gunfire is so loud making it difficult to hear what's being said, painting a picture of the confused mayhem going on in the trenches. Next Stage use the mission theatre with good vision and the cast are excellent: We see Rudyard Kipling, a fiercely powerful and determined figure ruling over the household and Jack engaging and convincing as a young man forced into war and yet desperate to escape the pressures of home. Bird supports these central performances as a loving, outspoken sister Carrie Kipling, the dutiful heartbroken wife and mother.