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

Man killed in shooting in Abbotsford

Integrated Homicide Investigation Team called in on Friday night

Harrison continues push for local doctor

Mayor has requested Fraser Health provide primary care services

New surcharge for Harrison boaters

Small boat launch surcharge to fund KHSAR

POLL: How should Harrison deal with goose poop?

Monday’s council meeting raised questions about the best way to handle waste around the beach

Sts’ailes First Nation to vote on land code

Land Code would remove nation from 34 sections of Indian Act

Week in Review – January 19

Movie filming, water upgrades and more

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Police arrest pair after ‘high-risk vehicle takedown’

Vancouver police say replica handgun found in alleged suspects’ vehicle

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

E-cig likely the cause of townhouse fire

Smoke and fire damage but no one was hurt in Chilliwack

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Most Read