Jock of the Bushveld

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Jock of the Bushveld is the title of a famous novel by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (1862-1931)[1]

The novel

The publication

Written for his young children in 1905, based on tales he had told them, it tells the story of his dog "Jock" and their adventures in South Africa some 20 years before the 1880s, when he had worked as a storeman, prospector's assistant, journalist and ox-wagon transport-rider in the Bushveld region of the South African Republic. First published (by Longmans, Green, and Co.) in 1907 upon persuasion by his friend Rudyard Kipling. Illustrations for the book were done by Edmund Caldwell. The book has been re-published numerous times since.


Film versions

The story of Jock of the Bushveld has been filmed a number of times, among the versions have been:

Jock of the Bushveld (1986)

In 1986 produced and released Jock of the Bushveld[2], produced by Edgar Bold and Duncan MacNeillie, written by John Cundill and directed by Gray Hofmeyr, with a South African cast that included Jonathan Rands, Gordon Mulholland and Jocelyn Broderick, Michael Brunner, Wilson Dunster, Tom Barnett, Marloe Scott Wilson, Nadine Kadey, Jim Neal, Fred Baylis, Oliver Ngwenya, Fiona Fraser and the dog Umfubu (or Mfubu) as "Jock".

(For the full list of credits for this film, see "Jock of the Bushveld (1986)" IMDb[3]

Jock: A True Tale of Friendship (1994)

In 1994 Duncan MacNeillie Film Productions and Toron International produced and released another version, one with a happy ending, intended for the US market. It was released as Jock: A True Tale of Friendship[4], produced by David Asherson,Duncan MacNeillie and Stan Roup (line producer), written by Duncan MacNeillie, Johann Potgieter and Greg Latter, and co-directed by Duncan MacNeillie and Danie Joubert. The large cast included Sean Gallagher, Fay Masterson, Wilson Dunster, Sello Sebotsane, Ron Smerczak, Russel Savadier, Brendan Grealy, Michael Brunner, Jeremy Crutchley, Mike Oosthuizen, Liz Staughton, Jenny de Lenta, Peter Tunstall, Jeremiah Ndlovu, Amanda Strydom, Michael Richard and Victor Melleney.

(For the full list of credits for this film, see "Jock: A True Tale of Friendship (1994)" IMDb[5]

Jock the Hero Dog (2011)

In 2011 Jock Animation released a 3-D animated version called Jock the Hero Dog[6] as a South African-American venture, written by Duncan MacNeillie, Jim Cox and others, based on MacNeillie's earlier ("happy ending") film. Directed by Duncan MacNeillie the film features a star-studded international cast, (e.g. Bryan Adams, Donald Sutherland, Helen Hunt, Ted Danson, Mandy Patinkin and William Baldwin), and including numerous South African performers, such as Desmond Tutu, Bongani Nxumalo, Sylvaine Strike, Michael Richard, Theo Landey, Jason Kennett, Michael de Pinna, Anthony Bishop, Robert Hobbs and Dianne Simpson.

(For the full list of credits for this film, see "Jock the Hero Dog" (2011)" IMDb[7]


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Stage versions

To date is appears that there has been one attempt to stage a version of the novel.

Jock of the Bushveld: The Musical (2010)

The original text

A children's musical loosely based on the famous novel by Percy Fitzpatrick, with the book and lyrics are by Deon Opperman and Sean Else and music by Johan Vorster.


2010: Performed by Packed House Productions, sponsored by Absa Bank, it opened at The Mandela at the Joburg Theatre on 4 September playing into October. Directed by Deon Opperman, with musical direction by Eddie Clayton and original choreography by Esther Nasser. The large cast included Vaughn Gardiner (as "Jock") ), Suzzi Swanepoel (as "Fifi"), Cobus Venter (as "Percy"), Judy Page (Vulture Cherie), Michelle Botha (Chicken), Matt Stern (Leopard), David James (Vulture Boet), Lawrence Joffe (Vulture Bob). Multiple roles were played by Siyasanga Papu, Joel Zuma, Ruth Brown, Mark Richardson, Norman Anstey, Adam Pelkowitz, Pulane Rampoana and Lyall Ramsdon (or Lyall Ramsden). Costumes were by Sarah Roberts, sets by Stan Knight, lighting by Gerda Kruger, musical orchestration and arrangements by Devereaux van der Hoven and Juan (Floors) Oosthuizen, sound design by Trevor Peters and mixing by Robin Kelly.


Moira de Swardt. 2010. "Jock of the Bushveld, The Musical", ArtsLink[8]

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