I discovered something today at the Montreal Fringe Festival. It is totally possible to make it from Theatre Ste.Catherine to the Cabaret du Mile-End in under 45 minutes on foot. Something else I learned…? Take a cab, because I have some major blisters now and a hilarious limp and it was ALL WORTH IT because the shows I saw there were the bee’s knees indeed. But for serious, take a goddamn cab, it’s FAR.
My first show at the Cabaret was the much acclaimed British comedy duo James and Jamesy in HIGH TEA. The set-up is simple enough…rubber legged loony Jamesy (Jamesy Evans) is hosting a weekly tea party for his best friend, the straightlaced and bowler-sporting James (James Brown). For while they have the occasional problem communicating, James and Jamesy do share a deep, deep love of all things tea. It’s just that Jamesy, well, he has a bit of an imagination, and when it gets away from him (as it inevitably does, time and again), James finds himself swept up in the insanity. And things get pretty splendidly mad at this particular tea party, oh my yes.
With misadventures ranging from a rapidly shifting invisible landscape to a full-on maritime disaster complete with a boatload of animals in an ocean of tea, James and Jamesy keep HIGH TEA at a steady comedy boil throughout, putting their bloody incredible physical and clown skills to wonderful use. The almost unbearably clueless Jamesy is a modern-day Harpo Marx in his curly haired wig, instigating and subsequently exacerbating one disaster after another. James makes a fantastic straight man to all the mayhem, quietly heroic as he struggles to put right whatever nonsense has slipped out of Jamesy’s noodle this time. At the heart of it all is an unbreakable bond between this off-kilter pair, who only survive the floods and the sharks because of each other. It’s joyous theatre magic performed by two fearless entertainers who you can’t hep but love…they even provide the tea. James and Jamesy are the real deal, folks, and you’d be even crazier than they are to miss this show. Peace, love and soul,
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