Image from JamesandJamesy.com

Image from JamesandJamesy.com

James and Jamesy return to the Okanagan

The comedic duo will be performing O Christmas Tea in Oliver, Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon

“An oaken noggin? A type of wood? A wooden head? Made of oak,” asked Jamesy.

“No, no, Jamesy, it’s the Okanagan! It’s a region; they’ve got wine and open fields,” replied James.

“James, please tell me they have tea!”

“Of course they have tea, but I’m sure they’ve never tried your tea, Jamesy.”

“James, we could have a tea party. We could invite the oaken noggin, we could test each of their noggins as they arrive, which one is the oaken noggin? We must have a tea party, James, to answer who has the oaken noggin.”

James and Jamesy, known as Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles respectively, are bringing their whimsical comedy back to the Okanagan with their holiday performance, O Christmas Tea. According to their website, their shows are investigations in participatory theatre merging physical comedy, clown and dance to create theatrical environments where audiences feel invited and compelled to participate.

O Christmas Tea varies from their other productions as being holiday-themed, but the pair noted the show is non-denominational overall so that people of all backgrounds will enjoy it.

“This show really celebrates imagination and friendship, and in my mind, that’s the essential part of what I think of as the holiday spirit,” said Knowles. “You get to come together and be in an environment that you get to play with the unknown.”

In partnership with David MacMurray Smith, James and Jamesy is a Canadian performance company that has sold more than 60,000 tickets and has performed shows more than 500 times across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Related: Aaron Pritchett lending a helping hand to youth

Their family-friendly comedy style is suitable for all ages and is sure to have audience members playing along inside their fantasy world. It is not uncommon for audience members to even take on roles in the performance as the show progresses.

“What we love to do with our performances is create an environment that compels the audience to play with us,” said Knowles. “So we wrote the show to entertain ourselves initially. We came about creating the James and Jamesy show thinking, ‘This would be so fun to do with an audience, do you think an audience could get on board doing this?”

Malkin and Knowles said they often see repeat audience members when they return to this area, and they frequently hear that people enjoy their on-stage personalities. The characters, James and Jamesy, often represent opposites such as the “proper and absurd” or the “inwardly focused and outwardly focused.”

“One thing that people time and time again say that they love most about our shows is the chemistry between us. There’s no fall man, we’re there trying to get into each other’s worlds and support each other,” said Malkin.

“Aaron’s character, James, lives in the real world and can interact with the audience in a very real way, whereas Jamesy lives in a world where imagination can take over at the drop of the hat,” said Knowles. “So the two of them represent the two sides of what I consider to be essential elements of British humour, propriety and peculiarity.”

Malkin said O Christmas Tea stands on its own and that the audience does not need to be familiar with their other shows to enjoy themselves. It does help, however, when the crowd knows to expect the unexpected.

“When we return to cities with new shows, people will share stories of things that happened in a previous show that they have in their everyday lives at home,” said Malkin. “For example, how Jamesy pours tea is something that is mentioned, and how people have made it sort of a ritual in their homes. Walking into that enthusiasm with an audience that knows the character is always a good start.”

“In O Christmas Tea, the world is transformed in so many ways, from being on board a gigantic ship to being underwater, where the audience is deep sea creatures,” said Knowles. “I’ve had people come up to me before and say they’ve never felt that they were a different creature, and people will say, ‘I was a sea anemone!’ after our show.”

The two believe their acts spread an important message of having “compassion for people who see the world through a different lens”, and that it provides a “reason to support the cause of coming together.”

O Christmas Tea will make its first stop in the Okanagan at the Venables Theatre in Oliver on Dec. 19. Next, they take the stage in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre on Dec. 19. On Dec. 20 the show stops at Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna and

Dec. 22 people can catch their act at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre in Vernon. Showtimes and ticket prices can be found online at www.jamesandjamesy.com.

Just Posted

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read