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WINNIPEG FRINGE FESTIVAL - July 2009


CBC Winnipeg Review - 


“Jake’s Gift is the most theatrically pure show I have ever seen. “ - Katie Nicholson



The Winnipeg Free Press - 


Julia Mackey has been trying to get into the Winnipeg Fringe for three years, but we’re the ones who won the lottery here, folks. When a bare-bones, solo show can have virtually every member of the (packed) audience — and the performer — in tears by the end, you know it’s a gem.

The Vancouver playwright/actor’s lovingly crafted, beautifully acted and indubitably important comedy-drama about the losses and gains of war should be required viewing in every Canadian classroom. 


Jake’s Gift tells the story of a Second World War veteran’s reluctant return to Normandy, France, for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. There, the crotchety octogenarian is befriended by Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village who helps him face some long-ignored ghosts. Mackey’s ability to embody both characters, shifting seamlessly from arthritic codger to playful child in seconds, is nothing short of amazing.


"I never did nothin’ special," grunts Jake during an overdue visit to his brother’s grave. Mackey’s gift of remembrance is a powerful rebuttal. Don’t miss it.


- Carolin Vesely



The Winnipeg Sun - 


It’s funny, it’s sad, and it has everything you could hope for in a Fringe play.

Written and performed by Julia Mackey, Jake’s Gift is her one-woman show about the loving friendship that develops between a 10-year-old girl and an 80-year-old man on the 60th anniversary of D-Day at Juno Beach.

As a performer, Mackey is excellent — and her writing is even better. Her acting is superb; her transition from character to character flows seamlessly and she makes you feel as if there were two people onstage.

Just make sure you get up early — the lineup for this one starts an hour before show time. But it’s definitely worth the wait.

Oh, and bring a box of tissues. - Meryl Kaye De Leon

Sun Rating: 5 out of 5


JESSIE RICHARDSON THEATRE AWARDS - June 2009


Julia was recently nominated at the Jessies (Vancouver Theatre Awards) for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role - Small Theatre Category - for her multi-character performance in Jake’s Gift.



SUPERNOVA THEATRE FESTIVAL - May 2009


The Chronicle Herald:    “Mackey’s transformations bring war home.” - Elissa Barnard


The Coast:    Art Attack - “Heart-wrenching play is a must see” - Kate Watson


                            “If you only see one play at this year’s SuperNova Festival, make it Jake’s Gift.”



VICTORIA FRINGE FESTIVAL - Aug 2008


AWARDS:    Best Drama, Best Female Performer, Best Solo Show


MONDAY MAGAZINE REVIEW & ARTICLE   


If you missed Julia Mackey’s award-winning debut at the Fringe last year, or her return to this year’s UNO Fest, please, please, don’t pass up the chance to see Jake’s Gift. It’s hard to say which is better—her script about a reluctant veteran’s return to Juno Beach or her twin performances as a 10-year-old girl and 80-year-old man, both of which, in 60 minutes, speak more to the heart about Canada’s role in WWII than would a six-hour NFB documentary. Without a doubt, Jake’s Gift is one of the most moving and unashamedly heartfelt pieces of solo theatre that has graced a stage in a long time; put it up there with the likes of The Shape of a Girl and I, Claudia—it’s simply that good.

- John Threlfall - Monday Magazine


The Obligation of Memory by John Threlfall - Monday Magazine Article




EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL - Aug 2008


AWARDS:    Best of Fest


EDMONTON SUN REVIEWS   
   


“Jake’s Gift. Mark it down. Get your tickets right away.” Colin MacLean - Edmonton Sun


“Jake’s Gift is a brilliant one woman play.” - Kerry Diotte, Edmonton Sun Columnist



EDMONTON JOURNAL REVIEW   
1/2


“That’s why this little gem of a production...” - Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal



THE VUE WEEKLY   


“Jake’s Gift is a deeply moving play...” - Bryan Birtles - The Vue Weekly



SASKATOON FRINGE FESTIVAL - Aug 2008


STAR PHOENIX REVIEW   
    


“If I could give this play six stars, I would.”  Shannon Boklaschuk - Star Phoenix




THE CENTAUR THEATRE - WILDSIDE FESTIVAL - Jan 2008


The Montreal Gazette Review - Pat Donnelly -  January 12th 2008


“Former Montrealer, Julia Mackey, is making a triumphant return to her former hometown with her solo play Jake's Gift, which also opened at the Wildside this week. It's a poignant piece, directed by Dirk Van Stralen, about a Second World War veteran who visits Juno Beach on the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Mackey plays the veteran, as well as the 10-year-old French girl who looks after his brother's grave, and the girl's grandmother. It's a play that wears its maple leaf on its sleeve. Single-minded in its desire to pay homage to those who fought and died for their country, Jake's Gift leads, artfully and predictably, to a two-hanky ending.



VICTORIA FRINGE FESTIVAL - Aug 2007


AWARDS:  

Best Drama, Best New Play, Best Solo Show, Best Female Performer


TIMES COLONIST REVIEW   
 



TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL - July 2007


EYE WEEKLY REVIEW   



GABRIOLA THEATRE CENTRE - Jan 2007


Grateful Gabriolans will remember Jake’s Gift


Gabriolans blown away by a vet’s play, Jake’s Gift