Tag Archives: Holly Revell

Myra Dubois: Dead Funny

★★★★

UK Tour

Myra DuBois

Myra Dubois: Dead Funny

Garrick Theatre

Reviewed – 6th September 2021

★★★★

 

“DuBois is an exceptionally funny performer and certainly knows how to put on a show that will leave anyone in stitches”

 

Who wouldn’t want to attend their own funeral? With the opportunity to listen in to heartfelt eulogies from your nearest and dearest, you can’t go wrong. Certainly, that is how Myra DuBois, award-winning drag persona of Gareth Joyner and 2020 Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, sees it, using the theatrical plot device of her own death to stage a show in celebration of, you guessed it, herself. The new genre of theatre which she entitles ‘snuff cabaret’ takes us through the dearly departed’s highs and lows from her majestic birth (a star is born) to her questionable entanglement with her ex-wellness guru.

DuBois’ wit is unparalleled, especially when interacting with the audience. A particularly hilarious moment came when DuBois asked someone whether they had seen her perform before to which they said they had at a pub in Chiswick only a few weeks prior. Myra’s indignation at being reminded of such ‘lowly work’ whilst upon a West End stage was simply brilliant and became a recurring joke throughout the show. The queen’s comedy never lets up and barely a minute goes by without some sort of punchline or biting insult being hurled at those sat in the first few rows of the stalls. An extra bonus were those jokes directed at the audience at home as the show was being streamed online for those antsy about returning to live venues.

DuBois delivers three punchy musical numbers, the first to open her set emphasising just how ‘D E A Dead’ she really is. She goes on to sing about how selfish it would be for her to be an organ donor (as only one person rather than the masses would benefit from her sacrifice) in a jaunty ‘Always Look on the Brightside of Life’ style tune. The show closes with a rousing rendition of Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson’s I Know Him So Well with Myra and the audience assuming these roles respectively.

Before Myra took to the stage however, Frank Lavender, a self-entitled sex symbol from south Yorkshire, warmed up the audience with an amusing yet near painful repetition of a series of ‘dad jokes’ which frequently elicited audible groans arose from the audience. Though his set was enjoyable, especially the sections featuring his second wife (and DuBois’ plainer twin) Rose, this was a questionable way to open the show as Lavender’s comedic stylings were unlikely to energise the audience. Followed as well by a lengthy thirty-minute break before Myra’s set, the first hour of the show lacked momentum though was quickly forgotten once DuBois stepped on stage.

Rose returned to the stage throughout the performance to support DuBois. Her most notable contribution was reading a poorly rhymed poem to honour her ‘deceased’ sister. Rose’s presence offered some variety and allowed for further brilliance from DuBois as she berated her less glamorous sibling.

The set is simple but highly effective. Four white columns topped with flowers frame the stage with an urn and large image of the departed at the centre. DuBois lamented how she wanted the stage to look like Buckingham Palace in 1997 but it in fact looked more like a school gate after a car crash with one bunch of gas station flowers discarded on the floor (just once example of the queen’s outrageous humour). The lighting was variable and playful, moving effortlessly between dramatic spotlights to colourful fanfare. DuBois looked phenomenal as well, her vintage hair and make up dazzling in the West End lights.

It is no surprise that Myra has such a dedicated legion of fans (which she brilliantly calls AdMyras). DuBois is an exceptionally funny performer and certainly knows how to put on a show that will leave anyone in stitches.

 

 

Reviewed by Flora Doble

Photography by Holly Revell

 


Myra Dubois: Dead Funny

UK Tour continues until January 2022

 

Previously reviewed by Flora this year:
Ginger Johnson & Pals | ★★★★ | Pleasance Theatre | June 2021
Godot is a Woman | ★★★½ | Pleasance Theatre | June 2021
Sh!t-Faced Macbeth | ★★★★★ | Leicester Square Theatre | July 2021
Jersey Boys | ★★★★ | Trafalgar Theatre | August 2021

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews

 

Myra DuBois: A Problem Shared

★★★

Online

Myra DuBois

Myra DuBois: A Problem Shared

Online

Reviewed – 25th November 2020

★★★

 

“Myra is a seasoned pro, but her oxygen is a live audience”

 

Myra DuBois, or ‘The Siren of South Yorkshire’ as she describes herself, has been dispensing her particular caustic brand of wit and wisdom on London stages for the past 12 years, from well-known queer cabaret spaces like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to the Soho Theatre and the Southbank Centre. A Problem Shared is Myra’s gift to us all in lockdown, allowing us to tweet in with our problems and receive personalised advice; reminding us, always, to breathe in with resentment and out with gratitude.

Once the show starts, we find ourselves in Myra’s office, complete with glitter curtain, a decanter of gin, and her downtrodden sister and assistant Rose Lavender manning the phone. It is definitely worth tuning in a little early however, to see the marvellous pre-show adverts: Legal Help from Norfolk & Chance; Rose Lavender’s signature perfume ‘with high notes of lavender and rose with a hint of sensual Rotherham’ to name but two. The show is basically Myra’s take on a simple Agony Aunt format with a few little surprises thrown in – a couple of hand-delivered letters through the glitter curtain and a wonderful appearance from the evil Miss Corona Virus herself, who, resplendent in green, regales us with a topically updated version of Peggy Lee’s Fever.

Myra is a seasoned pro, but her oxygen is a live audience. Watching her at Johnny Woo’s wonderful UnRoyal Variety Show a couple of years ago reduced this reviewer to helpless tears, whereas last night’s small screen performance at the kitchen table only mustered a few little chortles. And therein lies the problem. Drag and cabaret performers NEED a live audience. The lifeblood of this kind of show is the unscripted arch comeback, and the heady rush of boozy laughter. The energy of queer performance in particular comes from the joy and ownership of shared space; the subversive power of being in the majority for once and taking over the gaff. God knows it’s a much-needed energy right now, and power to Myra for doing her bit to keep the show on the road, but let’s bloody hope she can take her rightful place back in a roomful of revellers before too much longer.

 

 

Reviewed by Rebecca Crankshaw

Photography by Holly Revell

 

Myra DuBois: A Problem Shared

Online via www.myradubois.co.uk

There is one more performance on Christmas Eve which will be a pre-record

 

Recently reviewed by Rebecca:
Henry V | ★★★★ | The Barn Theatre | March 2020
Superman | ★★★½ | The Vaults | March 2020
Fanny & Stella | ★★★★ | The Garden Theatre | August 2020
Antony & Cleopatra | ★★ | Theatro Technis | September 2020
C-o-n-t-a-c-t | ★★★★ | Monument | September 2020
The Tempest | ★★★ | Turk’s Head | September 2020
Living With the Lights On | ★★★★ | Golden Goose Theatre | October 2020
The 39 Steps | ★★★ | The Maltings | October 2020
Visitors | ★★★½ | Online | October 2020
Eating Myself | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews