“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.
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 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.
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.