Fringe veterans, James and Jamesy, bring their brand of physical comedy to the McPherson Theatre with O Christmas Tea, an escapade brimming with whimsy and action in a celebration of friendship at Christmas.
When catastrophe strikes at a Christmas tea party, flooding the world with tea, the friends leap into action, trying to find innovative solutions to keep them afloat.
“One thing we love to do is bring the audience into the show,” said “James” aka Aaron Malken, from his home in Vancouver. “We don’t know who we are going to bring up so it’s a very exciting element.”
The duo met in Vancouver while working on Hard Times Hit Parade — a Depression-era show about a dance marathon — and the friends’ complimentary qualities pushed them to find new avenues to work together.
“It’s our differences and our shared goal,” said “Jamesy” aka Alastair Knowles. “In our shows (James) is the connection to the outside world and I’m the detail-orientated person, and in real world, we are the opposite.”
O Christmas Tea is just one of the tea-themed comedies the duo has created over the years. The Canadian duo also created High Tea and Tea for 2, and both have been circulating the Fringe circuit for four years and all correspond to a sense of “taking a break.”
“When we first developed these characters, the audiences loved the chemistry and dynamics and we loved playing them,” James said. “We loved coming up with new scenarios and as we did that, the process remained fun.”
Redefining immersive theatre, James and Jamesy draw inspiration from Monty Python, Blackaddar and Mr. Bean, the masters of physical comedy.
“One thing about our shows is that they bring together a range of ages and help shed their masks, their default world selves, and play together,” James said. “Adults often report reconnecting with their inner child at our shows. They leave the show with an elation of their spirit. Christmas Tea is a celebration of friendship and imagination.”
O Christmas Tea will be playing on Dec. 19 and 20 at the McPherson Theatre.