“O Christmas Tea” by James & Jamesy and David MacMurray Smith

The Act Theater, Maple Ridge was filled to capacity as the audience anticipated the performance of “O Christmas Tea” by James and Jamesy.

 As the performance began, a teapot and an extended leg emerged from behind the curtain.   From there, the show rollicked along with lightning speed.  

From the poignant, to the unexpected, the interactive to the bizarre…  this performance is hard to classify and even harder not to enjoy.  

Director and Co-writer, David MacMurray Smith, brought his 40 years of experience to the stage with a show that was tight and focused despite its improvisational nature.     

Jamesy, played by performer and co-writer, Alastair Knowles, wowed the audience with his controlled impulsiveness and comic precision. He brought to the stage a physical quality hinting of Mr. Bean with the accent of Roald Dahl’s BFG.   He was both unexpected and endearing.     

James, played by performer and co-writer, Aaron Malkin, was the calm counterpoint of dry humor to the outrageous physicality of Jamesy. He grounded the performance and as he negotiated, with wit, the unexpected twists and turns that come with performing for, and interacting with, a live audience. 

Both actors delivered sharp, perfectly timed pantomime, which was a large component of the play. The minimal stage production meant that clever, theatrical elements made maximum impact. 

The audience was in stitches as James and Jamesy interwove its members into the play, delivering improvisational, deadpan and hilarious commentaries as it all unfolded. The journey that began at a small apartment tea party ended with a massive shipwreck and a modern day miracle!  As an audience, we were not quite sure how we got there, but at that point we had laughed so hard, we didn’t really care.  (I don’t know for sure, but I felt that some members of this particular audience seemed to embrace their ad hoc roles with extra vigor, perhaps discovering a hidden desire for the stage themselves?)  

Regardless, the evening was an unexpected, whimsical journey into imagination. 

It is not often that a show tries to incorporate so many different elements into one stage production. What could have been chaotic and disjointed seemed to work in this case, with hilarious results.  Audiences have continued to return year after year and James and Jamesy have a hectic performance schedule around BC, Washington and Manitoba this December.   

If you are looking for something that is reminiscent of classic British comedy and celebrates Christmas in a non-traditional, interactive way, James and Jamesy’s “O Christmas Tea” is sure to be just what you are looking for. 

For tickets and event dates, contact: JamesandJamsey.com/upcoming

The Act Theater, Maple Ridge was filled to capacity as the audience anticipated the performance of “O Christmas Tea” by James and Jamesy.

Monday December 10th/Tuesday December 11th at 7.30pm at Kay Meek Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver BC
Tickets: kaymeek.com, (604) 981-6335

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