Reviewed by Mer Weinhold. Mer is an Ottawa-dwelling writer, editor, reviewer, and costuming enthusiast. You can follow them on Twitter.
High Tea: Another British Comedy
by James & Jamesy
60 min / Comedy / G
When a play in one of the largest Fringe venues sells out on opening night, a review seems superfluous, as the hype will likely keep people attending regardless. Still, it’s nice to know what you might be getting into if you attend High Tea: Another British Comedy.
What begins as a simple tea party quickly goes awry when an inexhaustible teapot floods the world with tea. The two characters, James and Jamesy, encounter various odd situations in their efforts to survive the flood, and also get home in time for the last bus. With only a small table, two chairs, two teacups, a teapot, and an endless supply of gestures, the performers sculpt and interact with a variety of settings.
If you saw James and Jamesy’s 2016 Fringe show, 2 for Tea, then High Tea will be a very familiar experience. Physical comedy and mime, audience participation, and absurdity comprise the bulk of the show. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was the humour being kind-spirited and good-natured, never resorting to mockery or satire. Comedy crafted entirely from silly premises and zany characters gave the show a cheerful, friendly atmosphere, and put at ease the audience members chosen to participate.
Advance tickets are recommended if this is on your list of must-see shows, as Fringe shows rarely stop selling out once they start. Personally, since I saw 2 for Tea last year, High Tea was similar enough that I wouldn’t have felt I was missing out if I wasn’t able to make it. However, the performers are the best I’ve seen at what they do. So if playful and absurdist comedy appeals, it’s worth the effort of lining up early to attend.
High Tea: Another British Comedy by James & Jamesy is playing at Academic Hall (133 Séraphin-Marion) until Sunday June 18, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info. Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.