British Columbia

Clowning comedy a highlight of 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival

James and Jamesy's 2 For Tea has been a hit at fringe festivals across Canada, and now it's coming to the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival.

2 For Tea has received rave reviews at fringe shows across Canada

James and Jamesy — real names Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles — star in 2 For Tea at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival. (Jonathan Dy)

The Vancouver Fringe Festival opens Thursday and one of this year's offerings is a physical comedy that has been a hit at fringe festivals across Canada.

Duo James and Jamesy have earned rave reviews over five months of touring for their show, 2 for Tea, .

James and Jamesy — real names Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles — blend physical comedy, storytelling and audience interaction with a weekly tea date as the play's setting.

"The Jamesy character is generally described as quite eccentric, … he's quite afraid of the audience," Malkin told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"The James character, myself, I'm more of the audience. I'm more of a common man. And through me the audience finds ways to connect with the Jamesy character.

"So in a sense it's [about] connecting with 'other,' or something that's foreign or something they might be afraid of."

Knowles adds part of the play is about helping the audience connect with its own eccentric side and sense of adventure.

Alastair Knowles (left) and Aaron Malkin portray Jamesy and James, respectively, in 2 For Tea at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. (CBC)

Another part is exploring friendship, he says.

"The tenderness of our relationship is something I feel a lot of people are drawn to," Knowles said.

"We're … trained in clown, physical comedy, yet there's no 'Three Stooges' kind of beating up on each other. No one's out to put each other down."

"We're in fact just trying to understand each other and that effort, that willingness to really go outside of ourselves to match where our dearest friend is, offers challenges and opportunities we invite the audience in on."

2 For Tea opens tonight at the Firehall Arts Centre and runs until Sept. 18.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast


To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Clowning comedy a highlight of 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival

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