James and Jamesy used the audience to their advantage on Wednesday and Thursday night in Penticton during the O Christmas Tea production. (Logan Lockhart, Western News)

James and Jamesy used the audience to their advantage on Wednesday and Thursday night in Penticton during the O Christmas Tea production. (Logan Lockhart, Western News)

REVIEW: James and Jamesy serve up O’ Christmas Tea to Penticton’s Cleland Theatre

When James and Jamesy are in the room, expect the unexpected

You never know what’s going to happen next when James and Jamesy are in the room.

The British comedy duo, played by Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles, hosted the most extravagant tea party during their performance of O’ Christmas Tea at the Cleland Theatre in Penticton on Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s a tea party that everyone was invited to participate in — the ones with theatre tickets in their hands just didn’t know it when the show began.

O’ Christmas Tea starts rather innocently. James visits the house of the more eccentric Jamesy for a traditional holiday tea party.

A series of conflicts throw a wrench into the two exchanging gifts and drinking tea, inadvertently making select audience members play crucial roles in the performance.

Malkin, who plays James, told the Western News in November that the audience has an opportunity to step into a new version of themselves whenever they see James and Jamesy perform.

And when it comes to the O’ Christmas Tea production, truer words have never been spoken.

Several members of the audience are prompted to dress up, play a character and become part of the production in what often feels like a total turn of events when seen in real-time.

The show has been described in the past as a production in the same vein as Monty Python and Mr. Bean, but aside from that, it’s written in a way that sometimes makes you wonder whether certain bits are improvised or planned.

With James and Jamesy, you just never know — that’s the fun of it. The two comedians deliver their jokes on a dime while having the ability to gauge the temperature of the room.

And with audience interaction comes improvisation, an area of theatre Malkin and Knowles consistently proved they’re proficient in executing.

The two have performed the 2021 edition of the O’ Christmas Tea production since November, making stops around the Okanagan as well in the Lower Mainland and Washington St., USA.

With James and Jamesy, adults have the opportunity to go back in time and use their imaginations for the first time in a long time.

It’s one of the world’s greatest cliches but in the case of O’ Christmas Tea, it definitely applies — expect the unexpected.

The duo is slated to hit six more cities before wrapping up its holiday tour in North Vancouver on Dec. 22-23.

For the remaining tour dates and ticketing information, people are asked to visit jamesandjamesy.com/upcoming.

READ MORE: James and Jamesy can’t wait to return to Penticton and share some Christmas-themed laughs



logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com

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