THE STORY: The year is 1913. War with Germany is imminent. Rudyard Kipling, the British Empire’s greatest apologist, is at the peak of his literary fame. This play explores the nature of a man who loses his balance when devotion to family and country clash. World War I breaks out, and Kipling’s son, Jack, is determined to fight, but the Army and the Navy both reject him because of his extremely poor eyesight. Undaunted, Kipling uses his influence to land Jack a commission in the Irish Guards, sparking off a bitter family conflict. Jack goes to war and is reported missing, believed wounded, in his first action. The Kipling family live in vain hope for two years, before finally learning of Jack’s death. The effect on Kipling is profound and irrevocable, as he struggles to confront his appalling sense of guilt and loss. The play is a powerful and moving account of the anguish at the heart of a man whose storytelling continues to delight millions throughout the world.