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Jake’s Gift: Theatre Review

October 7, 2010

Jake’s Gift

By Julia Mackey

*****

 

     Jake’s Gift played last week at the Blyth memorial theatre. Thankfully the play was far better than I imagined, as I’ve found that one-man-plays are often pretty boring. Director, author, and actor Julia Mackey remedies my fears by keeping the characters funny, and believable. Julia Mackey does a great job at playing all four charactors, Jake, Susan, and  petite and grand Isabelle.

     The story Jake’s Gift has Jake, the old veteran from D-day, returning to Juno Beach for the 60th anniversary of D-day, where he meets a little girl known as Isabelle. After a rocky start, Jake and Isabelle start to get along well, and become good friends. Isabelle helps Jake release his sorrow by finding his brother’s tombstone, so Jake can say goodbye.  

     At the beginning of the play, where Jake first shows up, he is shaking constantly. This, along with his elderly cough, make him a very believable old man. The way he wears an old looking vest helps with his image. When he danced for Isabelle, he sort of stumble around a bit and acted like it was very tiring.

     The costumes were appropriate and fit the scenes that they were used in, such as the military jacket that Jake wore during the time at the cemetery. These little touches helped bring the characters to life. In fact, Julia even had real medals from veterans on the jacket! The lighting was purposeful, as it was dimmed to help set the mood of a sad scene, or, was turned up really bright to represent the time spent on Juno beach. The music that was played matched the scenes perfectly, like near the end when the lone bagpiper played softly. The bagpiper was playing at a veterans ceremony, and since these are not normally very happy things (you’re remembering a war after all), the pipes help to set the scene better with soft music.

     The audience was laughing hysterically during the starting scenes where Isabel and Jake were talking. Several of Jake’s colourful phrases, including “What the hell do you want with me” and “I hate those god damned phones”, really kept the audience entertained!

     The most emotionally memorable moment I had was when Isabel received Jake’s gift to her. I really felt the sadness that Isabel would’ve felt when she opened her letter, and read it with Chester’s trumpet in her hands. It will stick with the viewer for a very long time. Another memorable moment is when Jake was sitting at Chester’s grave, pouring his heart out. That part is really quite emotional.

     Herald Post

     I would definitely recommend this play to everyone, so if you get the chance, I suggest you watch it. If you do watch it, please come back to my blog and comment about the play.

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From → Schoolwork

5 Comments
  1. Mrs. Irwin permalink

    I, like you, have a hard time understanding how one person plays can be good! But I am sure glad you enjoyed this one; I just find it amazing how the actress could keep all the voices and body movements apart! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this play. I am sorry I missed it.

  2. C. Steplock permalink

    Your comments on the theatre were very descriptive and concise. It made me feel like i was there seeing what you were talking about. Very Good Job on this as i know you’ve been working on this.

    I’m glad you really enjoyed the play.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Christina

  3. I feel like Im watching the play as you talk about it on your post! I often think that one-person shows tend to be not so good, but this show seems really funny and good! By the way we replied to your comments about our film, Barefeet Be Gone. Your a wonderful writer!

    • Thanks Joanna. I’m very glad that you felt that way about my review. Should I be expecting any blockbuster films on this movie any time soon? I sure hope you can make one. That would be sweet! I plan on going back to your site in the next week, so I’ll check out your movie again.

  4. That would be cool. I’ll see if we can make a video of that play. But we’re about to start a big silent movie project, we can’t wait! We’re learning a lot about early film makers like Lumeire, Edison, and Melies. We’re finishing our Melies productions and will be posting them soon! Melies was the father of special effects, he made in-camera special effects like stop-trick and dissolve. What kind of pojects do you do in your classes? I think it really cool that students from diffrent countrys can talk about their school projects!

    Thanks again for the comment!

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