James & Jamesy in the Dark, produced by Life & Depth, opened tonight to an enthusiastic crowd at the Toronto Fringe Festival. If you like absurdist humour, come enjoy this masterful blend of clown and physical comedy from performers James & Jamesy and director David MacMurray Smith.
To put it simply, James & Jamesy shone — both literally and figuratively. This show embraces the strangely fascinating premise of situating its two characters in the dark, lighting each other primarily with the lamps attached to their heads. It was fascinating to watch this show explore all the comic possibilities of those lights.
My favourite part of James & Jamesy in the Dark was the audience participation, which was quite intense; one performer even climbed over people’s seats. I won’t spoil the details of the audience participation, but let’s just say that it furthers the jokes and themes introduced early in the show.
I preferred the sections of physical comedy to the more dialogue-heavy sequences, which felt too long at times. While the precision of the performers’ movements was always fascinating to watch, the show’s philosophical musings sometimes failed to draw me in.
Overall, I was very impressed by the professionalism and level of detail in this show. To choose one moment of many: James & Jamesy, having exuberantly declared themselves to be “exactly the same!”, stood side by side on the stage. There was a beat, and then one of them stood up on tiptoe so they would be the same height. This got a big laugh from the audience and from me.
James & Jamesy in the Dark was fairly silly at times, but it was also lots of fun. I didn’t always know why I was laughing — why is it so funny to watch someone’s fingers walk over someone else’s arm? — but I thought this show was both charming and hilarious.
- James & Jamesy in the Dark plays at the Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Ave.)
- Tickets are $12. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Scadding Court, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is barrier-free. Note that only certain building entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in front of the front row, and may have poor sightlines for certain productions.
- Show uses smoke/haze effects and contains audience participation.
- Wednesday July 5th, 08:15 pm
- Friday July 7th, 10:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 01:00 pm
- Tuesday July 11th, 06:45 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 01:15 pm
- Friday July 14th, 02:15 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 04:00 pm
Photo of James and Jamesy in “James and Jamesy in the Dark” by Thaddeus Hink