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British comedy duo to host hilarious and interactive tea party in North Van
Even during their day-to-day lives, professional theatre clowns James Brown and Jamesy Evans are a barrel of laughs.
“We are the creators of who you are speaking to now,” giggles James, after some confusion over what the physical comedy duo’s real names are.
James and Jamesy are decidedly taking the method acting approach, choosing to stay in character for the interview.
Natives of Sussex, England, these two entertainers have brought a taste of British farce across the pond to Canada.
Their touring comedy show 2 for Tea has been extremely well received from coast to coast, attracting sold-out audiences and accolades in every city.
And now the North Shore is in for the same treat, as 2 for Tea opens for a one-week run at Presentation House Theatre on March 25.
For the premise of the show, James and Jamesy have taken an everyday tea ritual and swirled in their respective idiosyncrasies for a performance that warms the soul.
James has some particular habits, including always putting his shoes in a certain spot, and never eating more than half a bowl of crisps.
Jamesy, picking up on these traits, mirrors James’ particularities back to him and the audience during the show.
“It’s playful, it’s just a game. I know James so well,” says Jamesy.
The show goes against the grain of a traditional comedy duo scheme.
“There is no fall man, no stupid man,” explains James. “At the foundation of it there is a love that everybody gets.”
To say 2 for Tea is interactive, it would be an understatement. The audience takes part in a tea party beforehand — and then during the show some attendees are invited to get up on stage in character.
“We are gentle with the audience, but we like having people surprised with how willing they are to participate,” says Jamesy.
The characters James and Jamesy arose from an improvised comedy sketch the duo performed as part the Vancouver clown troupe Poupon Parade.
Both James and Jamesy trained in this comedic art under acclaimed clown trainer David MacMurray Smith.
When asked if it’s an innate gift, making people laugh through physical expression and movements, Jamesy says clowning is a trained art, but the interest originates in childhood.
“We are reacquainting ourselves with the freedom that we had as children,” says Jamesy.
One of the fundamental principles of clowning, explains James, is channeling the laughter and delight experienced by children.
“We treat the show as framework for play, and a sandbox for the audience,” says James.
When thanking Jamesy and James at the end of the interview, James’ neurotic side shows once again, as he playfully corrects me.
“I would say James and Jamesy, it’s always in that order,” says James.
2 for Tea runs from March 25-30 at Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Ave. Tickets: $28 for adults; $20 for seniors, students and children. There is a half-price show on March 25. For more information visit online at jamesandjamesy.com.