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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Financial literacy program expands across the Fraser Valley

Big Brain Literacy Program aims to help folks thwarted by the pandemic and in need of budgeting help

Major ride-hailing companies can now operate in Harrison

Vancouver gives green light to Uber, Lyft

Missing Maple Ridge man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

UFV grads of 2020 honoured in innovative ways

No convocation ceremony due to pandemic, but grads receive ‘celebration box’

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Sexologist likens face mask debate to condom debate: What can we learn from it?

Society’s approach to condom usage since the 1980s can be applied to face masks today, one expert says

Popular Lower Mainland Thanksgiving festivities cancelled by COVID

Fort Langley’s 25th annual Cranberry Festival put off until 2021, to avoid spread of virus

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

Fraser Valley Bandits complete 2020 coaching staff

Four names added for the 2020 CEBL season, which begins on July 26 for the club

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Most Read