Christmas Tea, O Christmas Tea, how are thy leaves so tasty?
Wait a minute…
The award-winning British comedy duo of James and Jamesy are returning to the Okanagan to present their holiday comedy, O Christmas Tea. The show has almost sold out in Penticton and Kelowna, a testament to their popularity.
“It’s become a Christmas tradition for a lot of people, like the Nutcracker,” said James, or Aaron Malkin as he’s also known. “People keep coming back, knowing a bit of what they’re going to see, but because of how much audience involvement (there is), no two shows are alike.”
Intending to keep their show fresh, the duo brought in the services of two technicians this season. The transformations of the stage and the ability to transport the audiences to the worlds of James and Jamesy is expected to be better than ever before.
“That allows us to achieve certain technical illusions we were unable to reliably do in years past,” Malkin said. “This year we have three different kinds of snow, three different kinds of confetti cannons, and three different kinds of fog effects.”
The Christmas comedy takes audiences on a journey of giving, a wish gone wrong that takes them underwater, and they even find themselves on a single chair, afloat in an ocean of tea.
The fog effects the duo is proud of and the dry ice behind it gave the pair a bit of trouble at the start of their tour. The group doesn’t travel light, and take with them 120 pounds of dry ice for their shows this season.
This essential ingredient for their shows has given them a new story to share they are already laughing about.
“Something we learned early on in our tour. We didn’t realize that when you keep it (dry ice) in a closed vehicle in a parking lot, that the vehicle fills with carbon dioxide,” Malkin said.
“After the first show, we got into the van to drive away and we started suffocating. And of course, our biological response was to open the doors and get some air, and slowly we figured out what had happened,” he said.
“So it was on our first show, and we nearly suffocated. But we’re good now.”
From that point forward, the group travelled with the windows open.
“No suffocating today,” said Alastair Knowles, who plays the more eccentric Jamesy.
A mixture of clever wordplay and physical comedy, the non-denominational holiday show is fun for audiences of all ages. The show explores friendship, the joy of giving, and a celebration of the imagination.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on Dec. 19.
Tickets for the show are available for purchase through ticketseller.ca.