Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles, the real-life Canadians behind the very-not-real-life Brits James and Jamesy, use the words “delight” and “play” quite a bit when discussing their shoot-off-in-any-direction brand of interactive comedy.
Having watched about every video I could find of them online, I’d say those words are fitting. Their work is profoundly silly, but that doesn’t mean it’s without substance. To a large degree its sense of wonder is itself the substance.
James and Jamesy, whose surreal dream of a Christmas story “O Christmas Tea” comes to The Capitol Theatre on Monday, are heroes of the Fringe comedy scene in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in Canada because their shows are unique. There’s no precedent, for instance, for a two-person show revolving around one man making a Christmas wish for tea, only to watch as the entire world begins to drown in the stuff.
Where the show goes from there I’m not entirely sure. I’ve only seen snippets. But I can say with certainty that it includes rapid-fire wordplay, absurd physical comedy (both principals are trained clowns who teach and spread the gospel of slapstick) and a huge dose of whimsy. It also very likely will include audience participation; James and Jamesy are big proponents of immersive theater.
All of which is perfect for this time of year, when even the curmudgeons among us are inclined to appreciate the magical a bit more than we would in, say, September.
Or as Knowles put it in a news release promoting the show: “The Christmas season is a magical time of year that brings people of all ages together; a time when we are encouraged to dream big, embrace imagination, and celebrate a childlike excitement for merriment.”
If you go
What: James and Jamesy’s “O Christmas Tea.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Where: The Capitol Theatre, 19 S. Third St.
Tickets: $28, $33, $43.