New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

James & Jamesy In The Dark

From 16 critic and 33 member reviews
Members say: Quirky, Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Slow

About the show

With and emphasis on physicality and quick-witted wordplay, comic duo James & Jamesy conjure answers to the age-old questions ‘Who are we?’ and ‘Why are we here?' More…

From the darkness of an unlit stage, two strangers meet, each with a chair and what appears to be the same task to complete: place the chair, then leave. Their encounter disrupts their awareness of ‘self’ and ‘purpose’ and propels them headfirst into an exhilarating discourse of understandings and misunderstandings.

Theater Pizzazz

“An outer space romp exploring our perceptions of life...It’s silly, clean, very sweet, and as intelligent as any piece of theatre you’re likely to see this year...A clowning play and the entire experience feels like a highly talented series of theatre games...Each idea is skillfully expressed with silliness, charm, and naiveté...Smith has orchestrated a profound and tidy work....A remarkable and seamless performance...A tantalizing aesthetic not to be missed." Full Review

Off Off Online

“An extraordinary piece of theater that fits no mold but its own...A unique, thought-provoking delight. Two gifted physical performers embody the title characters...Although the evening is directed by Smith, there is much that is left to chance...Such improvisation invites ad-libbing, and sometimes an unexpected result puts the pair into a bit of a hole...Although the ending evokes Beckett, it’s full of optimism, befitting the previous 75 minutes of masterly clowning.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“Clever two-man show...The performance stands on its firmest ground during the non-verbal, more physical clowning scenes and those that take place entirely in the dark...Malkin as James remains more abstract while Knowles as Jamesy displays a more youthful character...They play off each other easily...The give-and-take to the audience is fun, but at times feels a bit clunky...Thought provoking and funny, ‘James & Jamesy’ challenges us not just to contemplate but to respond.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"James & Jamesy answer some profound existential questions in the silliest, most delightful way possible...The sort of theatre that offers its audience a transformative experience in the simplest yet the most effective ways. The pair of seasoned physical comedians creates a wildly imaginative world out of nothing...This absolutely delightful silliness also carries the weight of some cerebral profundity, upon close examination. The show is, in a way, a process of creation via discovery." Full Review


"Just two strangers on stage, each with a chair, as they meet and explore the unknown...Sound like a snooze? Not at all. James and Jamesy aren't your garden-variety strangers...What starts out as a dumb show, quickly transforms into a play with potent language...If profound questions drive the piece, child-like play is what makes it tick...This piece doesn't just cast new light on the concept of theater, but teaches some profound lessons on the mystery of being human." Full Review


"It is stylishly done and presents a charming picture of two beings finding their place in the world...The dialogue plays off of misunderstandings...with a fresh twist...The show is not one confined to the fourth wall of the proscenium. The actors move into the audience and incorporate that as part of the experience...The very soul of theatre comes from breaking the rules and exploring new ways of storytelling. ‘James and Jamesy: In The Dark’ does this with verve and charm." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"This intriguing and quirky theatrical production...directed with a playful ear for sound and movement by David MacMurray Smith brings whimsy and charm to this small stage, shining with a pure white light dose of sweetness and a funny depth of profundity...The two are masters at this dynamics, keeping us tuned in and playfully conducted for the most part...The ingenuity and precise grasp of theatrical capabilities are both child-like and wonderful." Full Review

Plays to See

"If you enjoy clown acts, or you are amused by watching young children interact, you’ll enjoy this. James and Jamesy are like two big children...It’s a little redundant and definitely strange. But there are moments of novelty and clarity...You might not leave with a hurting stomach, as the humor isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you will leave with the sense that you’ve become a part of something inexplicably real." Full Review


"More importantly, they display little or no real emotion so it is difficult to empathize with them even when their growing discovery of each other should have stirred the audience. The closest they come to human contact is placing their two lampshades together and tickling each other with their fingertips." Full Review

Stage Door

for a previous production "People often speak of 'the magic of the theatre,' but this is truly magical. How we have established such a bond with them and they with us is unknown but somehow the two have taught us a game and we have learned to play it to our own infinite amusement and wonder...'In the Dark' is still as comic as the duo’s previous plays. But this is comedy at its profoundest and most essential. It may be a play on words but it is also true – 'In the Dark' is a play that enlightens." Full Review

Orlando Weekly

for a previous production "'James & Jamesy in the Dark' is like a lost Samuel Beckett classic co-written with Douglas Adams and performed by a couple of Cirque du Soleil clowns. (If you know my tastes, you know that’s a high compliment.) Sweet and surreal at the same time, it’s less literal than their previous shows but more literary, and in my opinion even more entertaining." Full Review

Now Toronto

for a previous production "Channelling Beckett, they consider existential questions on a stage adorned with nothing more than two chairs. As the title suggests, much of this performance piece occurs in the dark, and the duo's artistry ensures they maintain the audience’s attention even at times we can hardly see them...Watching the performers come off the stage and interact with the audience is mesmerizing. Audience participation on opening night sent the energy soaring by the end." Full Review

Mooney On Theatre

for a previous production "If you like absurdist humour, come enjoy this masterful blend of clown and physical comedy...To put it simply, James & Jamesy shone — both literally and figuratively...My favourite part of 'James & Jamesy in the Dark' was the audience participation...I preferred the sections of physical comedy to the more dialogue-heavy sequences, which felt too long at times...'James & Jamesy in the Dark' was fairly silly at times, but it was also lots of fun. " Full Review

Winnipeg Free Press

for a previous production "Enough to keep an audience engaged and roaring with laughter for much of the 75-minute comedy, though the first third of the piece — filled with a lot of nonsensical, Cirque du Soleil-like gibberish — did move quite slowly. Malkin and Knowles are extremely talented at executing detailed physical comedy (even in the dark) and maneuvering through hilarious improvised interactions with the crowd," Full Review

Orlando Sentinel

for a previous production "Has clever staging and laser-sharp tech, but to my way of thinking, it misses out on key elements that make James and Jamesy endearing. Most notably, the friendship factor of the duo’s previous outings is missing...'In the Dark' is a show without warmth. Also missing is an ebb and flow of tone and volume. 'In the Dark' starts loud and stays loud..James and Jamesey still have charm in their tricks...And it has to be said that a large part of the audience found this show hysterical." Full Review

Edmonton Journal

for a previous production "There are some nice moments. The clowns look at each other and realize that while one person alone can only see half of themselves, two can see the whole person. However, the show moves slowly...The cross-talk becomes dull because it isn’t taking us anywhere, and finger people — even ones climbing from spectator to spectator — have a limited range of activity...James and Jamesy need to find more content before they move out of the dark." Full Review

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if You are ready for something different that you have to think about. And makes you laugh.

Don't see it if Are not willing to open your mind and think a bit.

Hilarious, Quirky, Masterful, Clever, Funny

See it if you enjoy surrealist humor with minimalist staging - it's far more clever than what first meets the eye, and I was in stitches throughout,

Don't see it if you are totally against any of the above... although your presence will probably make the whole show that much funnier

Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Quirky, Funny

See it if You enjoy non traditional theater. You are open minded. You enjoy Mummenschanz.

Don't see it if You only like musicals. You don't like interactions between the performers and the audience.

Clever, Quirky, Slow, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You don't mind a slow burn first half as two clowns slowly discover heady concepts of existence. Hilarious and surprisingly moving payoff!

Don't see it if You don't like clowning or lack patience in watching a long setup. Really worth it if you stick it out!

Clever, Ad-libbed, Funny

See it if you like something original, quirky, engaging with the audience, and thoughtful.

Don't see it if you don't like improvisation and audience interaction.

Clever, Intelligent, Refreshing, Great acting, Funny

See it if You like miming and the avant garde.

Don't see it if You do not like mime or performances where there is little talk.

Quirky, Entertaining, Diverting, Family-friendly, Slow

See it if you want to see two strangers to earth land on the Soho Playhouse stage & discover the wonders of our world via Bill Irwin-lite clowning.

Don't see it if you don't like repetition; you don't like repetition; you don't like repetition; you don't like repetition.

Also It's hard to watch this show without thinking of Bill Irwin, who happe... Read more Read less

Hilarious, Slow, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if clowning, mime and absurdity work for you. In spite of their simplistic presentation, complex ideas are suggested. And hilarity ensues.

Don't see it if you expect traditional theatrical elements like plot or continuity. A clown show with relatively little dialog often not recognizable words

Entertaining, Quirky, Profound, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if Quirky explanation of time and place with comic clowns. The comedians were on point with being existential.

Don't see it if You do not like existential shows or ambiguity of plot.

Clever, Excruciating, Quirky, Bizarre, Slow

See it if you want a really strange theatrical experience. It is very hard to explain. Sometimes entertaining, sometimes excruciating. Just weird.

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for strange performance. A couple of women kept complaining out loud during my show! Most people wouldn't enjoy it.


See it if Things get really interesting in the last 30 minutes when the performers leave the stage. Audience was laughing out loud.

Don't see it if A bit slow to start & dragged a bit in beginning. Show runs 72 minutes.

Clever, Funny, Quirky, Slow, Surprisingly touching

See it if You like the sad clown who ultimately teaches you something (much like what Bill Irwin does). A little funny. A little weird.

Don't see it if You need a nap, it’s almost entirely performed in the dark with very little dialogue. Tends to be a bit one note but the end was impressive.

Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if you are looking for a show that is unique and has potential to be good, but is far from it right now. The concept is great, the writing isnt

Don't see it if you are not up for a show that is 1 hour but all you really needed was 20 mins. Show becomes repetitive and boring.

Also I really enjoyed the first 20 minutes, but then it just got dark... li... Read more Read less

Quirky, Slow, Funny, Entertaining

See it if if you like unpredictable endings, it's a little slow to start, but things pick up near the end

Don't see it if if you looking for a typical Broadway show, it only runs a little over an hour

Cliched, Dated, Indulgent, Mime

See it if you want to bring a child to a show with clowning, mime, shrill voices-- that devolves as most of these types of shows do...into fart jokes.

Don't see it if you expect Mummenshantz or Cirque du Soleil, or hate performers breaking the 4th wall & shining a light in your face.

Also This is definitely a fringe-type show. It plays like an extended impro... Read more Read less

Slow, Quirky, Interactive, Funny

See it if You don't mind experimental performances, and look forward to playing with the tall one and the short one.

Don't see it if You're not ready to play with the two simpleton beings that mysteriously land on stage, you are not in the mood for silly or wonder.

Also Once James and Jamesy get bored of playing with each other on stage, t... Read more Read less

Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you're into experimental theater without a well defined narrative or script

Don't see it if you are looking for something that tells a story, you like your 4th wall firmly in place

Also I'm not super comfortable being involved in a show and there is a fair... Read more Read less

Overrated, Quirky, Slow, Excrutiating, Insulting

See it if You really really really enjoy out there theater, minimalistic sets, an interesting premise and...

Don't see it if You don't like your intelligence being insulted for a looong hour. Felt like a children's play, without the entertainment value.

Extremely overrated / extremely disappointing, Interesting "costumes" / minimalist set (2 chairs), Quirky / silly / ambitious import, Very slow & excruciating 75min

See it if you understand that this is the FOURTH show 'James & Jamesy' have done. Most of us are experiencing this premise fresh from knowing nothing.

Don't see it if you can't grasp/comprehend the director's TWO-PAGE notes in the program. We couldn't, & we were wide awake before, during & after this mess.

Also "READY"!!! And we were.... Read more Read less

Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if You thought “Waiting for Godot” was too linear and structured. You want existential performance art.

Don't see it if You want a show that earns its oddness. This piece doesn’t seem to care about or consider its audience. Doesn’t deserve stage time.

Indulgent, Pointless, Trifling

See it if you prefer Dreamworks animated films to Pixar's.

Don't see it if your curiosity was piqued by nothing more than a few glowing blurbs about this show.

Irksome, Annoying, Boring, Tedious, Relentless

See it if u want to see absurd human animation that reminded me of Pixar opening credits that persevered for more than an hour. Was cute for a minute

Don't see it if you want traditional, or clever, or funny or edgy. My friend fell asleep. I unfortunately did not. I like weird. This was just excruciating.

Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like physical comedy, beautiful aesthetic, word play.

Don't see it if You want to be spoon-fed your entire experience. This show asks the audience to think.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Intense

See it if Found the show funny. You will enjoy it if you like slapstick humor. I found it slow at first but it picked after audience interaction.

Don't see it if If you don’t like dry humor, you don’t have much of an attention span.

Absorbing, Delightful, Funny, Clever, Intelligent

See it if How one person can hold many views on the same thing, and in that dichotomy, create in community with others.Never seen anything like it.

Don't see it if Experimental theater isn’t your thing.

Cast & Creatives (5)