A British pantomime is very different to the more modern Christmas plays that abound, especially around the Lower Mainland, at this time of year.
Pantomime is an English musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to join in, or sing along.
I am certain some of the audience was unaware of this when they chose their seats.
Having clarified that you will not get the expected Christmas play, you will, however, get a very talented twosome who call upon the audience to play numerous characters that enrich the spontaneity of the play.
A movement across the stage can take painfully slow minutes as each muscle in the Jamesy’s body stretches and contracts. He has full control over each and every muscle and bends his body like a Gumby doll. This slow movement is foreign to those who want a quick moving comedy. Especially when he is just setting up a tea set!
James and Jamesy’s Christmas tea party faces catastrophe when the world floods with tea!
This causes the two friends to leap into action, finding innovative and hilarious solutions to keep them and the audience afloat. James is much more serious and Jamesy is the ridiculously outrageous one, always using his body as part of the action.
If you are lucky or unlucky enough to look like a suitable character, you are forced into the play. We end up with a sea captain, the Queen, and animals amongst the mixture.
We move from Noah’s Ark to the Titanic, always at sea in the tea! It is difficult to tell how different the play would be if different people were chosen for the action.
For the audience, this moved between fear of being chosen to laughing uproariously at the unknown comics amongst us!
It was an enjoyable show that fits in with the British humour we have come to expect of Mr. Bean or Monty Python. One leaves with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step, still wondering if you could move with the slow, stealth of Jamesy.
James and Jamesy have received accolades and awards for their plays in a number of Fringe Festivals and have performed O Christmas Tea around the province and country.