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British duo’s interactive holiday show ‘O Christmas Tea’ back on the Island

Sidney, Duncan, Courtenay, Victoria and Nanaimo all getting visits from James and Jamesy
Alastair Knowles, left, and Aaron Malkin during a performance of ‘O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy,’ which will be staged at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre Nov. 18. (Submitted photo)

A British duo returns to Nanaimo with a holiday production that will “ignite the imagination and uplift audiences.”

According to a release for O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy, when catastrophe strikes at James and Jamesy’s Christmas tea party, the world is flooded with tea and the duo conjure funny solutions to stay afloat. To James, on-stage events are make-believe and the audience is of the real world. To Jamesy, on-stage events are real and the audience doesn’t exist.

“This vast difference in perspectives dissolves as the play progresses, and audiences find themselves compelled to join the performers in the world of imagination,’” said the release.

The award-winning comedy of James and Jamesy, also known as Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles, is reminiscent of classic British pantos that blend physical comedy, quick-witted wordplay and “cleverly crafted interactive elements.”

Their show is described as a mix of Monty Python, Mr. Bean and Dr. Seuss.

“Theatre is, in its essence, an exercise in imagination, a suspension of disbelief,” said Knowles in the release. “O Christmas Tea focuses on and plays with this distinction … We want adults to leave feeling lighter, more playful, and a deeper connection not only with their companions, but also with the entire community that shared the mesmerizing moments in the audience.”

In the release, Malkin said that each year the tour expands and the show develops, keeping the experience fresh and thrilling.

Having last toured the Pacific NorthWest in 2021, James and Jamesy’s 33- city West Cost tour includes dates at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney Nov. 14-15, the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in Duncan on Nov. 16, the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay on Nov. 17, at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m., and the Royal Theatre in Victoria on Nov. 19.

READ MORE: Nanaimo’s Port Theatre announces 16 shows for returning Spotlight series

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