Alastair Knowles

Alastair Knowles

Comedic duo brings quirky and innovative Christmas show to Nanaimo

Alastair Knowles and Aaron Malkin star in O Christmas Tea at the Port Theatre Dec. 8 and 9.

Friends James and Jamesy meet to enjoy a cup of tea to celebrate the holidays, but during the party disaster strikes.

Tea begins to flood the world. Leaving James and Jamesy stranded in one of the few locations not submerged under the liquid hot drink.

Now the two friends have to figure out how to save everyone in the world from drowning in tea.

While James, played by Aaron Malkin, is grounded in reality, Jamesy, played by Alastair Knowles, is ruled by his imagination and fancy.

Through physical comedy, dance and acting, the two bring the story O Christmas Tea to life.

“It’s really centred in friendship and imagination from things so present at Christmas time,” said Knowles.

The show is created with minimal props and backdrops, relying on people to engage their imaginations and immerse themselves in the experience.

“Using the imagination is a powerful tool and we intend to use it as often as possible,” said Knowles. “Everyone gets to imagine what is happening to the characters and what the characters are going through.”

Knowles said children engage their imagination continuously, but adults unfortunately don’t use it as much.

“People like to think of children as immature adults and we like to think as adults as atrophied children,” said Knowles.

He said the duo fills the theatre with imaginary tea by engaging people’s imaginations so it feels like it is filled to the brim from where the audience sits to the stage.

Physical comedy has appealed to Knowles since he was young and watched Rowan Atkinson perform as Mr. Bean. He said he loved the layers and the universality of physical comedy.

O Christmas Tea shows at the Port Theatre Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $28, $25 for seniors, $15 for youths and children and $25 for groups of six or more available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or visiting www.porttheatre.com.

The show is touring across Vancouver Island and shows Dec. 2 and 3 in Courtenay at the Sid Williams Theatre, Dec. 6 in Powell River at the Max Cameron Theatre, Dec. 13 at Duncan’s Cowichan PAC, Dec. 16 and 17 in Campbell River at Tidemark Theatre and Dec. 19 and 20 at Victoria’s McPherson Playhouse.

For more information about James and Jamesy, please go to http://jamesandjamesy.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com