Jake’s Gift returning to Labrador


Published on March 27, 2017

Julia Mackey will be performing her one-woman show, Jake’s Gift, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on April 6.

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A one-woman show, Jake’s Gift, is returning to Happy Valley-Goose Bay on April 6.

. The award winning play is about a WWII veteran’s return to Juno Beach for the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

Julia Mackey, the one woman in the one-woman show, said they were in Labrador before and are excited to return.

“Newfoundland and Labrador had a large amount of sacrifice happen in the world wars,” she said to TC. “The number of people from those places alone is amazing and astonishing, per capita how many people were lost. We always find going to the East Coast there's something about the play the really connects with people. I think there's something really enjoyable for us that we get to share that with people who have a stronger understanding.”

The show is in its 10th year of touring, which Mackey said is much longer than they expected when they started. The story came from a trip Mackey took in 2004 herself to Normandy for the 60th anniversary of D-day

“I interviewed as many veterans as I could about their experiences, and coming back for the anniversary,” she said. “I noticed a familiar story for a lot of them was it was their first time back since the war. I interviewed as many as I could, and I interviewed local French people, went to the ceremonies, walk the beaches.”

The story is about is about a World War II veteran, Jake, who goes back to find his brother's grave and meets a young French girl, Isabelle, there who is completely obsessed with the returning Canadian soldiers. Mackey said the young woman helps him deal with some unresolved ghosts, one of which is the loss of his brother Chester.

Since 2007, the show has toured to over 200 communities across Canada, including international stops in Washington State, Tiverton and Birmingham in England, and to Normandy, France, for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Jake’s Gift was awarded Best New Play 2007, Best Drama; Best Solo Show, and Best Female Performer at the 2007 and 2008 Victoria Fringe Festival as well as Best of Fest at The Fringe Festivals in Edmonton in 2008 and Winnipeg in 2009.

“Jake’s Gift is a love letter to all veterans, and is my way of saying thank you to a generation of men and women who sacrificed much for the greater good. Every day, I become more aware of how quickly that generation is leaving us now,” said Mackey in the press kit. “I’ve promised many of my 90-year-old boyfriends and girlfriends that I will keep telling their story long after they are gone. I hope to do just that.”

Jake’s Gift will be performed at Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on April 6 for one night only. Tickets are $24 each, $19 for seniors, and $11 for members. They are available at the box office in person or by calling 709-896-4027 and online at http://www.obrienartscentre.ca/home/blog.php.

More information on the play can be found at www.jakesgift.com, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/JakesGift, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Jakes-Gift-464185233650975/