EdFringe 2022 Review: ‘Myra DuBois – A Problem Shared’

Star of stage and screen Myra DuBois returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Underbelly to bring her show A Problem Shared to audiences in need of her urgent guidance. Inspired by Myra’s online sessions during lockdown, the drag sensation seeks to solve the problems of her Edinburgh audiences which are collected by her sister Rose in the queue to enter the venue.

As well as tackling the audience’s issues, Myra delves into her COVID Musical, interviews celebrity ‘wellness seekers’ (at this show it’s Robert Bathurst), and devotes some time to the dying art of conversation. The South Yorkshire star shows that her newfound fame courtesy of roles in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Britain’s Got Talent have not gone to her head, selflessly devoting her time to cleansing her audiences of their woes.

Creating a show like A Problem Shared is an impressive feat – the acerbic Myra is forced to think on her feet conjuring up humour on a spontaneous basis as snoring, dating, losing passion for work and marital issues spring up. Serving up quick-witted observations and guidance on all these issues showcases the wonderfully responsive sharpness of Myra’s comedy. Those familiar with Myra will be aware of her drill sergeant, take no prisoners approach to her audience as her hawk-like gaze scans across the crowd for a launching pad for a gag. Whether that be a tasteless item of clothing, bad posture or folded arms, Myra can turn the everyday into a moment of comedy bristling with her icy charm. Yet this humour comes from a place of love – Myra’s fondness for her audience (which she shares is either pensioners, gays or a cross-section of that venn diagram) is apparent in her playfully sharp ribbing.

There’s humour to be found in Myra’s suppression of her sister Rose, both formerly part of a double-act, yet now Myra takes the spotlight with Rose bursting at the seems to return to centre stage – as seen in a delightfully funny balloon popping burlesque number – biro in hand. The more traditional stand-up element of the show proves equally amusing as Myra’s problem solving, with the Yorkshire beauty delving into a Covid musical sampling You’re the One That I Want, Fever and Jolene. Guided meditation and Myra’s hints of her glamorous lifestyle – Myra Towers, Myra Castle and the Myracopter all provide some further laughs (and on-point branding).

The celebrity wellness seeker angle injects some additional variety with Myra seeking to also tackle their worries and gripes – even inviting her guest into a closing sing-song. In this case, Toast of London and Downton Abbey star Robert Bathhurst proves to be a game addition to Myra’s antics – even stepping in to discuss some of his own solutions to the audience problems.

Myra is a razor sharp presence, a comic assassin, delivering acerbic wit in her brutally amusing audience interactions. One of the strongest comedies of the Fringe, Myra’s responsive comic finesse makes A Problem Shared a must.

Myra DuBois – A Problem Shared plays in the Edinburgh Fringe’s Underbelly until August 28th. You can get tickets here.

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