Barn Theatre Club presents

Happy Jack by John Godber

Happy Jack

By John Godber
Directed by Cliff Francis
24th September – 2nd October 2021 at 8:00pm in the Main Theatre
Matinee on October 2nd at 2:30pm

The story of a lifetime in 90 minutes.

The work of a genuinely talented playwright.

Evening Standard

Based on the lives of the writer’s own grandparents who lived for their whole lives in a small Yorkshire mining village, it tells the story of their 40-year marriage, warts and all.

Told in reverse we meet Jack and Liz in their sixties not long before their deaths and the play ends as Jack asks Liz out for the first time. Over the 40 years, we see the trials and tribulations of an ordinary working-class couple living their lives the best way they can.

On a simple set consisting of old tables and chairs, a bookcase and a couple of clothes horses. It’s all a bit mundane and routine but this has been their lives for the past 40 years. Nothing much happens but we’re soon drawn into their story.

Underlying the gentleness is the terrible hardships and deprivations Jack went through as a miner and his politics are soon made clear – this is the working man’s lot that he has to endure in order to put a roof over his family’s head and food on the table. Jack certainly isn’t happy, and we soon find out that the title is ironic. However, underneath that hard, angry Yorkshire exterior, he’s a poet and spends his time writing poems which he loves reading aloud to Liz. He may be a hard nut on the outside, but it seems there’s something softer on the inside.

Apart from Liz and Jack, the actors also play a number of other parts.

The story is told as if it was a book with the actors reading out chapter titles and page numbers and breaking the fourth wall, letting the audience know exactly where they are in time.

Part of the Barn’s 2021-2022 Season.


Directed by
Cliff Francis



Production Manager
Set Dressing
Rehearsal Prompt
Poster Design


The work of a genuinely talented playwright.

Evening Standard

She called him ‘Happy Jack’ cause he were allus a miserable bugger.

A truthful timeless quality to this little piece of Yorkshire social history that isn’t showing its age at all.

Join the 'Friends of the Barn' Email List

You may UNSUBSCRIBE at ANY time via the link contained in every email we send out.

We collect and process your personal data in accordance with our Privacy Notice
Supported by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

© 1960 - 2021 Barn Theatre Trust Limited, Barn Close, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 6ST

Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in London, No. 1604619 Registered charity No. 284143

Website designed, hosted and maintained by ZIC Media



Do you have a question?

Feel free to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.

If you need to contact a specific departmant eg. Box Office, go to the About Us page and you’ll see them listed there.