High Tea (James & Jamesy) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of actors from high tea

High Tea is guaranteed to be the best tea party you’ll ever attend, as James & Jamesy deliver a performance full of laughs, imagination, and audience participation. Winner of multiple awards at Fringe Festivals across Canada, it is now playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Jamesy invites James over for a cup of tea, but their friendly meeting quickly takes a wildly unexpected turn. They accidentally flood the world with tea and rely on their imagination and help from the audience to survive.

The starring actors, James and Jamesy, were the heart and soul of the show. They each brought something unique to the table. Their opposite personalities complemented each other.

Jamesy’s comedic style was physical and outrageous. His every movement was exaggerated and precise. He often balanced on one leg while pouring tea, and nimbly jumped on James several times. Jamesy was very expressive, using his face, sounds, and bodily contortions to shape his character and comedy.

James embodied what the audience was thinking, offering funny quips as a response to Jamesy. James had a rapport with the audience. He acknowledged that Jamesy’s actions were strange, but he bought into the imagination and committed to the journey.

For me, the most unique part of the play was the audience’s involvement. James acknowledged our presence right from the beginning. They relied on volunteers to move the story forward.

Most of the time, the lights were on in the whole theatre, which made it feel like we were part of the narrative. We weren’t sitting in the dark, watching James and Jamesy. We were integral to their story.

Besides playing off their own personalities, James and Jamesy also played off the audience’s reactions. This gave the show a spontaneous, lively feel.

The story was about collaboration and friendship and it’s fitting that this notion was extended to include the audience.

High Tea was hilarious and delightful. James & Jamesy’s comedy was unique, reminiscent of Monty Python. I loved their fearlessness and willingness to be goofy. I had never been to a performance that involved the audience the way they did; it was a lot of fun.

So when you line up to see High Tea, don’t forget your teacup. Seriously, they serve tea.


  • High Tea is playing until July 12 at the Randolph Theatre. (736 Bathurst St)
  • Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
  • Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.

Remaining Showtimes
July 04 at 12:00 PM
July 07 at 05:00 PM
July 09 at 12:00 PM
July 10 at 09:15 PM
July 11 at 04:00 PM
July 12 at 01:45 PM

Photo of James & Jamesy by Kathy Knowles.

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