2 For Tea by Life and Depth bring comedy and a bit of improv to Randolph Theatre for Toronto Fringe 2013. The play involves six characters, two of which are played by the writers/main performers Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles. The other four characters are selected from the audience, most of them being cherry-picked from the front row.
The play begins with Aaron Malkin (James) and Alastair Knowles (Jamesy) having a simple tea party. The tea drinking is accompanied by Jamesy’s perfectionist habits and physical comedy. Jamesy pivots and lunges with the grace of a classical dancer, while James is the agreeable straight-man. The chemistry between the two works impeccably. Through the performing alchemy of Malkin and Knowles, tea drinking becomes fascinating.
The comedy got more exciting when James and Jamesy select characters from the audience. The two were in need of a general, a mother, a father, and a doctor – so prepare yourself for all those possibilities, just in case. I did not get to join as a last-minute character, but there is still participation for unlucky people like me. Or you could say lucky people, if you have a big case of stage fright.
James and Jamesy encouraged shouting, clapping and even dancing during the performance. Posing for a “family photo”, the audience had to stand and do their own version of the Y.M.C.A. Once the photos were taken, the scene erupted into a quickie dance party.
2 For Tea is a play that really understands how to please an audience. The play entertains with physical whimsy, delightful props, and general silliness. But what makes the experience worth going to is James and Jamesy’s obvious desires to please their guests. The performance gets the audience to participate with them, act with them and even drink tea with them. That’s right, when the flyer says “bring a teacup”, it was not joking. There are free servings of tea before the show begins. There are even extra tea cups in case you forgot to shove a china set into your purse.
This was an absolutely wonderful experience. I can’t think of anything better than going out for a laugh, a dance and a cup of tea.
July 6th – 9:15 pm
July 8th – 6:30 pm
July 9th – 10:45 pm
July 10th – 7:30 pm
July 12th – 12:00 pm
July 13th – 4:00 pm
Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
Advance tickets are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge) are available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 ext 1, or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).
Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.