Aaron Malkin as James (left) and Alastair Knowles as Jamesy search for ways to remedy their plight after accidentally flooding the world with tea in O Christmas Tea, which runs at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Dec. 1 and at the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna Dec. 3-4. (Photo submitted)

British comedy duo brings tea party to Okanagan

James and Jamesy’s O Christmas Tea is slated for Dec. 1 in Vernon and Dec. 3 and 4 in Kelowna

These aren’t the tea parties your grandmother holds.

When the Vancouver-based comedy duo James (Aaron Malkin) and Jamesy (Alastair Knowles) sit down for a quick spot of tea, hilarity ensues. James and Jamesy’s O Christmas Tea is slated to rock the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage Dec. 1 and Kelowna’s Mary Irwin Theatre Dec. 3-4.

Starting off when Jamesy invites the audience in for tea, only to discover he hasn’t brewed enough, tragedy occurs when he asks Santa Claus for more of the English staple, and soon the world is flooded with tea.

“Where the heart is at Christmas, it’s the idea that anything is possible,” Knowles said of the all-ages comedy show. “We wrote it for ourselves and it just happened to entertain others along the way. People have described it as walking out of a Monty Python film and into a Dr. Seuss book.”

As the world is quickly overrun with tea after a silly Christmas wish, James and Jamesy have no choice but to charge head first into the problem and find innovative and comedic ways to stay afloat.

With roots in physical theatre, dance and clowning-around, Malkin and Knowles joined forces to bring their brand of comedy to the stage.

“Aaron and I started creating shows back in 2011 with these two British characters (James and Jamesy) where their adventures surround these tea parties,” Knowles said, noting that the show was born as a 10-minute skit. “The audience reception was off the hook. With that encouragement, we made our first full-length show and toured it in 2012.”

Their debut tour brought 2 for Tea — an ordinary tea party that evolves into the extraordinary — across Canada, garnering international recognition along the way. Now, five years later, the duo has sold more than 60,000 tickets and have performed more than 500 times across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, winning the 2016 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Live Ensemble, hitting the finals twice for the Just for Laughs Best Comedy Award, and racking up 20 Best of Fest awards along the way. James and Jamesy also teach classes in their Vancouver studio and host workshops internationally.

“Aaron and I didn’t plan on doing theatre professionally,” Knowles said.

But they love it.

“I love the immediacy of the results. In theatre, you know if you’re achieving your results as soon as you step on stage,” Knowles said. “The connection with the audience is a key style of our performance. With the audience reacting in real time, you’re able to adjust the recipe on the fly.”

While the base of O Christmas Tea stays the same from performance to performance, Knowles said they are able to tweak parts of the recipe for certain audiences — a process he is looking forward to crafting for Vernon audiences.

“It’s always fun going to a new community and the turnout so far is great. It seems a lot of people are ready for a wintery good time,” Knowles said. “It’s fun for us. Every audience brings a different reaction.”

And for Knowles, that audience reaction is what keeps the wheels turning.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having. As soon as the show starts, that’s where I am, fully,” he said. “There’s a feeling that I was there for the magic of that night.”

James and Jamesy’s O Christmas Tea takes the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $34 adult, $30 senior/student ages 18-and-under and $19 for children ages 12-and-under from the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca. The show is also set for Dec. 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Kelowna’s Mary Irwin Theatre, 250-717-5304, www.rotarycentreforthearts.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

COVID-19: Vernon Towne Cinema back in action!

Movie lovers rejoice, the historic theatre has reopened with safety protocols in place

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Liberals push NDP for fall school reopening plan

Local Liberal MLA says NDP government committed to plan being unveiled before Aug. 4

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read