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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jake's Gift

Juno Productions / Vancouver, BC

Posted: 07/19/2009 2:16 PM | Comments: 0

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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

From the official Fringe Festival program:

Best Drama, Best Solo Show, Best Female Performer (2007 & 2008 Victoria Fringe), Best of Fest Holdover (2008 Edmonton Fringe) Jake’s Gift is a surprisingly funny and powerful drama about a World War II veteran’s reluctant return to Juno Beach for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.

"If I could give this play six stars, I would." - Saskatoon StarPhoenix

www.juliamackey.com

Warnings: Recommended Age 10 +
RECOMMENDED: General Audience

60 min.

Venue#2 MTC Up the Alley 174 Market Ave (Entrance on John Hirsch Pl)

Tickets: $9
Discount Tickets: $8 for Students, Seniors, Veterans

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