reviews & review quotes

 

EDMONTON FRINGE FESTIVAL | AUGUST 2018


★★★★★ | EDMONTON JOURNAL | Dave Breakenridge


Mackey brings all of her characters to life with full-bodied realism, and even when she is bouncing back and forth between Jake and Isabelle, you can truly feel the emotion of each of them.”



★★★★★ | EDMONTON VUE WEEKLY | Alexis Reid


Her craft and skill for being able to seamlessly move from one character to the next is an art in itself.”




OTTAWA | GREAT CANADIAN THEATRE COMPANY | NOVEMBER 2015


Ottawa Citizen • Patrick Langston


http://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/local-arts/theatre-review-gctc-play-a-gift-for-audiences




CALGARY | LUNCHBOX THEATRE | FALL 2011


★★★★★ | CALGARY SUN | Lois Hobson

“Jake’s Gift - which Mackey conceived, wrote and performs – is theatre in its purest form. It is an instant love affair between performer and audience. This is a jewel of a show you simply can’t afford to miss.”



Bob Clark  | CALGARY HERALD | 26 OCT 2011


“A story of perfect simplicity, flawlessly told.”




VANCOUVER | PACIFIC THEATRE | APR 2011


Jo Ledingham | VANCOUVER COURIER  | 13 APR 2011


Jake’s Gift wrapped in history and emotion

 

Remembrance play charms, educates


Jake’s Gift, created and performed by Julia Mackey, has been seen by thousands of school children across the country. I took a pass when it was performed at the Cultch in 2008 (after touring B.C. and other parts of Canada). I missed it again at the Firehall and the Shadbolt Centre. I don’t know what took me so long to see this remarkable 60-minute jewel, but it had something to do with the subject: the meetings over a few days in Normandy between a 10-year-old French girl and a Canadian Second World War veteran returning for the first time to Juno Beach where his older brother was killed. I think I wanted to put that war behind me.

 



WINNIPEG | MTC & MTYP | OCT & NOV 2010


★★★★★ | UPTOWN MAGAZINE | Marlo Campbell


The battle scars you can’t see


Jake’s Gift is an authentic, moving portrait of a Second World War veteran struggling with survivor’s guilt


A hit at the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, this one-woman play lives up to its hype.



★★★★½ | WINNIPEG FREE PRESS | Alison Mayes


Moving work a real gift for audiences of all ages


Recently, my 13-year-old and I had a conversation about The Diary of Anne Frank. We talked about how one person's small-scale narrative can generate greater empathy and understanding than a recitation of staggering statistics.




BC FALL TOUR | NOV 2009


PRINCE GEORGE FREE PRESS | Teresa Mallam


Jake’s Gift a true gift to the audience


Julia Mackey is an actor of extraordinary talent. Following her beautifully poignant performance which notably fell on Remembrance Day...




WINNIPEG FRINGE FESTIVAL | JULY 2009


★★★★★ | CBC WINNIPEG | Katie Nicholson 


I’ll admit to having misgivings about the subject matter of Jake’s Gift. What, I wondered, could this piece say about WWII that hasn’t been said a thousand times over? I hunkered down ready for a barrage of tired cliches...


★★★★★ | WINNIPEG FREE PRESS | Carolin Vesely


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...



★★★★★ | THE WINNIPEG SUN | Meryl Kaye De Leon


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




HALIFAX | SUPERNOVA FESTIVAL | MAY 2009



CHRONICLE HERALD | Elissa Barnard


Mackey’s amazing transformations bring war home


Emotional Jake’s Gift, powerful Out of Frame make for fascinating, thoughtful journey


SuperNova Theatre Festival’s pair of one-person stories about
war makes for a fascinating journey, one emotional, the other intellectual...




CHAUTAQUA FESTIVAL | JULY 2009



SOUTHWEST BOOSTER | Bowditch


Jake's Gift a gift to all


Chautauqua unveiled a number of hidden gems


Chautauqua once again unearthed a hidden gem. “Jake’s Gift” proves without a doubt that some of the best talent in Canada...




VICTORIA FRINGE FESTIVAL | AUG 2008



★★★★★ | MONDAY MAGAZINE | John Threlfall


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...


RELATED: the obligation of memory




SASKATOON FRINGE FESTIVAL | JULY 2008


★★★★★ | THE STAR PHOENIX | Shannon Boklaschuk


If I could give this play six stars, I would.





EDMONTON FRINGE FESTIVAL | AUG 2008


★★★★★ | VUE WEEKLY | Bryan Birtles


Issue #669: The Fringe of What?


Jake's Gift is a deeply moving play about a young French girl and a Canadian war veteran who visit Juno Beach for the 60th anniversary of D Day. They strike up an unlikely friendship and both learn about the losses and gains of war. A late addition to the festival, this play was not even in the program and yet deservedly had a nearly full house on opening night. Julia Mackey, who wrote and stars in the play, is an eminently watchable actor and her transformations between characters are stunning and nuanced, right down to the perfectly angled arthritic fingers of Jake. This is one to watch.



★★★★★ | EDMONTON SUN | COLIN MACLEAN


One-person show had audiences on their feet in acclaim


Jake's Gift. Mark it down. Get your tickets right away.



★★★★½ | EDMONTON JOURNAL | Liz Nicholls


Contrary to popular belief, it’s harder, not easier, to create dynamic theatrical experiences for people when their emotional alignment to the subject matter is already firmly in place before the curtain goes up...




MONTREAL - WILDSIDE FESTIVAL - JAN 2008



THE MONTREAL GAZETTE | Pat Donnelly


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.




TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL | JULY 2007


★★★★ |  EYE WEEKLY | Paul Isaacs


A grumpy WWII veteran meets a precocious 10-year-old girl during a visit to Juno Beach in Normandy, at the time of the 60th anniversary of D-Day.


This economical one-woman show is impressively written and performed by Julia Mackey, and should be a great draw for younger kids and their grandparents. The narrative itself is fairly clichéd, and the conclusion too obviously attempts to tug at our heartstrings, but this is largely a successful and tasteful production.


(Never underestimate the importance of sensible good taste at the Fringe.)   




GABRIOLA THEATRE CENTRE | JAN 2007


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


Bruce Mason | Nanaimo Bulletin | January 2007


Thirty-nine year-old actor/playwright Julia Mackey took Gabriola by storm last weekend with the world premiere of a one-woman show, based on her experiences during the 60th anniversary of D-Day, in 2004...











Click Links to see full review