Jake’s Gift ‘suprisingly funny’

Story of war vet written after visit Normandy

Julia Mackey has spent the last few years traveling the country, telling a story of Canadian heroes.

And she’ll be in Harrison Hot Springs next, to perform her award-winning production of Jake’s Gift.

The play is 60 minutes in length and will be followed by a discussion with Mackey, who is both the playwright and sole actor in her tribute to our nation’s soldiers.

Jake’s Gift is presented by the Harrison Festival Society, calling it a “surprisingly funny drama that tells the story of a Canadian World War II veteran who reluctantly returns to Normandy, France for the 60th anniversary of D-Day.”

Mackey’s project began in 2004, when she traveled to Normandy for the 60th anniversary of that fateful day. During her eight-day journey, Mackey interviewed dozens of Canadian, British and American veterans who had returned for the ceremonies. The stories they shared with Julia and her own life-long interest in the war inspired the development of the play. Mackey wrote the play and is the only actor, playing all four characters.

The play tells the story of Jake, the Canadian veteran who reluctantly returns to Normandy. While revisiting the beach he landed on 60 years earlier, Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village whose inquisitive nature and charm challenge the old soldier to confront some long-ignored ghosts — most notably, the war-time death of his eldest brother.

Julia Mackey was born into an active theatre family in Birmingham, England. When she was three years old her family immigrated to Canada. After completing a Bachelor of Education degree at McGill University in Montreal she moved to Victoria to pursue theatre.

In 1994, Julia started training with ground-breaking director and Ryerson University Alumnus, Robert Osborne. In 1995, she met the founders of Theatre SKAM and began writing and performing short plays for their acclaimed show, 29 Plays in 59 Minutes. Since 1997, Julia has worked as a professional actor in theatres across Canada.

In June 2009, she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role at Vancouver’s Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for her multi-character work in Jake’s Gift, which was part of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre’s 35th Anniversary Season.

Julia currently lives in Vancouver, BC with her partner, Dirk van Stralen, an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, actor, graphic designer, and the director of Jake’s Gift.

Tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.harrisonfestival.com or phone 604-796-3664. To learn more about the play, including Mackey’s related high school lesson plan, visit www.jakesgift.com.

Just Posted

Name Manning’s new quad chair, win a season’s pass

Lift replacement among long list of upgrades at popular ski resort

Dense fog a challenge for westbound drivers on Highway 1

Crash in Abbotsford just East of Bradner Road

Agassiz blanket event to promote reconciliation at Anglican Church

The workshop will help people visualize the impacts of colonialism on First Nations

Rainbow crosswalk plan gets council support in Hope

Council writing letter of support to community group for crosswalk project

UPDATE: Highway now open after several hour closure at Herrling Island

Westbound traffic is stopped, and some cars have been seen driving the wrong way on the highway

VIDEO: Agassiz Fall Fair celebrates 115 years of fair fun

From 4H shows to pie eating contests, the annual fair brought its best to the community this year

Elderly B.C. man gets 10 years in prison for sexually abusing young daughters

WARNING: This story contains graphic details and is not appropriate for all readers

‘This is not a drill’: Whistler Blackcomb gets first snowfall of the season

The 7th Heaven Summit had a dusting of snow Tuesday morning

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

Abbotsford restaurant offering free meals for those unable to pay

Veerji Fish ‘n’ Grill on Clearbrook Road has been giving away food since the summer

Arrest made after fourth threat closes a Kamloops high school in nine days

Mounties have been chasing down a series of threats made to schools across Kamloops

VIDEO: Party leaders react to Trudeau’s brownface photo bombshell

Fallout from Justin Trudeau’s brownface photo, and two other instances, sure to dominate campaign

Most Read