The multi-award winning one-woman play, Jake’s Gift, which was conceived as and is performed as a tribute to Canada’s veterans, is returning to the Cowichan Valley Saturday, Oct. 17.
The performance will take place at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m.
Jake’s Gift is about a Canadian Second World War veteran who reluctantly returns to Normandy, France, for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
While revisiting the shores of Juno Beach, Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village.
Her charming and inquisitive nature challenge the old soldier to confront some long-ignored ghosts, most notably, the wartime death of his brother.
It’s a compelling performance that captures the legacy of remembrance and personalizes the moving story behind one soldier’s grave.
The play is written and performed by Julia Mackey, a playwright and actress based in the small community of Wells, B.C.
It’s inspired by her own journey to Normandy in 2004, which she says was one of the most moving and powerful experiences of her life. Her week-long journey led to some moving conversations as she interviewed dozens of Canadian, British and American veterans who had returned to the beaches of northern France for the D-Day memorial ceremonies.
Since January 2007 the show has toured widely and, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the actress performed Jake’s Gift in French in a venue right on Juno Beach itself.
The show runs about 65 minutes with no intermission and is suggested for audiences aged 10 and over.
After the performance there will be a reception in the theatre lobby, where there will be a temporary Wall of Remembrance set up. It’s a great chance to share your own memories.
The Centre is asking for help with this Wall of Remembrance, according to marketing director Shelley Johnstone.
So she’s asking anyone with photos of family members, or friends that have served in the military to send or take in copies of them so they may be added to the display.
“Please include a short caption, (50 words or fewer). You can email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop off your photos to the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 2687 James St., Duncan. We would need them by Tuesday, Oct. 13. Please don’t send any originals, as we are unable to return the photos,” Johnstone said.
Buttons will also be sold with 100 per cent of the profits donated to the local Royal Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund, she added.
Tickets for Jake’s Gift are $32 for adults and $28 for seniors.
Get them at the ticket centre at 250-748-7529.