Vancouver performers Alastair Knowles and Aaron Malkin present their seasonal show, O Christmas Tea, at the Port Theatre on Dec. 16. (Photo courtesy Thaddeus Hink)

Vancouver duo James and Jamesy present ‘O Christmas Tea’ at the Port Theatre

Performers say the production is about ‘cultivating the power of imagination’

Alastair Knowles and Aaron Malkin celebrate Christmas all month long.

This December the Vancouver-based performance duo are touring their annual Christmas show, O Christmas Tea, to 17 cities, mostly in B.C., with a stop at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Dec. 16. In the show two friends, Malkin’s James and Knowles’s Jamesy, meet up for Christmas tea, when suddenly the world is flooded with tea and the twosome are sent on an adventure as they try to find their way back to Jamesy’s living room.

Knowles said the show is about “cultivating the power of imagination.”

“When working with imagination as a tool you have to be careful not to be too literal about the staging of things. Even though our Christmas show takes place in a living room, we limit our props,” Knowles said.

“Atmospheric elements can really transform a space and support the imagination, whereas literal elements take away form transforming the place from a literal object,” Malkin added.

He said every year they add elements to make the show more immersive. On this tour they’re featuring confetti cannons and “three different kinds of snow.”

O Christmas Tea wasn’t always a Christmas show. Knowles said it started off as a one-off seasonal performance of another James and Jamesy production.

“We had a booking in December and we were going to do our show High Tea but we thought, ‘It’s December, is there a way to make High Tea a Christmas show?’” he said.

From there Knowles and Malkin added festive elements and changed the title to O Christmas Tea – “the obvious name choice.”

The duo have now been bringing the show to crowds for the past four years.

“It’s definitely a tradition now and we had no idea it would catch on as well as it has,” Malkin said.

“As a performer and someone trying to make a living in the arts, we’re kind of on the lookout for creative projects that satisfy us as artists and our creative souls as well as finding something that resonates with an audience,” Knowles added. “And with O Christmas Tea we really hit on something that really resonates. We’re fortunate to have created a thing that has a lasting appeal.”

With the pair now dedicating every November and December to rehearsing and performing O Christmas Tea, Knowles said the show has become their tradition as well.

“Every year for the full month of December this show becomes our livelihood and our lifestyle…” he said. “In the show the world floods with tea and in December our world floods with tea.”

WHAT’S ON … O Christmas Tea takes place at the Port Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. $38 for adults, $19 for children.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDN enters into Stage 2 water restrictions, City of Nanaimo enters Stage 1

Stage 2 sees odd-number addresses watering on odd-number days and vice-versa

Nanaimo dentists donate 4,000 masks, 25,000 gloves to health-care peers

Nanaimo District Dental Society collects items for front-line workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Electric bike worth $3,000 stolen in Nanaimo’s north end

Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect who cut lock and rode off with e-bike Monday

Thieves taking advantage of empty streets, say Nanaimo RCMP

Police offer crime prevention reminders during COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo merchants struggle to find a new ‘business as usual’ during COVID-19 pandemic

Some businesses trying to make do with delivery, takeout or online sales

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Most Read