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GEORGE BOWDITCH | THE SOUTHWEST BOOSTER | 13 July 2009


"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 is working in relative obscurity and the people that attended one of the two performances of this play have seen a talent that won’t be, or shouldn’t be, in obscurity much longer.


“Jake’s Gift" was written and performed by Julia Mackey, and her ability to get the audience to buy into the characters that she is portraying was simply magical. Her subtleties and attention to even the minutest of details gave the play credibility above and beyond anyones imagination. She had the audiences sold on the characters.


The story she told was about a Canadian war veteran that had returned to Juno Beach to search for the grave of one of his brothers that had been killed on D-Day, and he was greeted by a precocious 10-year-old girl from the local village.


At first this veteran, while not being rude, did not really understand this young lady and her way with words. He took them all too literally. But the young lady was so infectious with her curiosity and enthusiasm that the veteran finally opened up to her and she helped him understand the real reason for coming to Juno Beach.


The play ran Thursday evening and the meaning of the play got out into the community very quickly and the performance on Friday afternoon was all but sold out, including several members of the Royal Canadian Legion. This was extremely fitting as the play is dedicated to all Canadian service-men and women past and present.


The play saw many a tear being shed with a particular touching moment happening when Mackey uttered the statement “We shall not forget.” and the Legion members in attendance spontaneously chiming in with their own “We shall not forget.”


After the play was complete, and upon the conclusion of a lengthy standing ovation for Mackey’s performance, the performer shed a few of her own as she had not expected the reaction she got from the Legion members in attendance.
“Jake’s Gift” was a master piece and if you were not able to take in one of the performances at Chautauqua you you can only hope that this talented young lady brings her performance back to Swift Current.


The play is a true testament to the history of Canada and should be seen by all.
Julia Mackey... Thanks for your gift of “Jake’s Gift”.


09/07/09  



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