Myra DuBois: Dead Funny
Venue: Underbelly Bristo Square
“People don’t tag themselves at a Myra DuBois show. They mark themselves as ‘Safe’ after” notes the titular star at her Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Myra DuBois: Dead Funny. It is perfectly apt – she is razor sharp, a comic assassin, delivering acerbic wit in her outrageous gags and brutally amusing audience interaction.
We gather at Myra’s Wiccan funeral. She’s not dead but has brought forward her own funeral to ensure it is done correctly. An afternoon of comic song, sharp audience interaction and fiery anecdote fill this thoroughly enjoyable character comedy.
Bursting onto the stage to a disco medley with lyrics tweaked to represent Myra’s untimely death (which hasn’t happened yet), Dead Funny gets off to a high energy start. Hits like D.I.S.C.O are tweaked to “D.E.A.D Dead” as the Rotheram native emerges. She has eyes like a hawk, quick to spot the slightest hint of audience weakness with the victims mostly located in the front row. The star’s quick comic timing and improvisational skill ensures this is a responsive and original afternoon of comedy with Myra being quick to turn a young girl taking her coat off, a tin of haggis, a woman coughing and a potential Morningside native – into moments of side-splitting comedy.
Whilst Myra is a cut-throat in her comic takedowns, there is an underlying warmth lurking in this wit. She’s an engaging presence and her desire to ensure the audience have a fantastic time is fully apparent – despite noting “You mean nothing to me and I mean everything to you.” Myra DuBois: Dead Funny blends this acerbic audience interaction with a number of musical numbers including a tear-inducing rendition of Annie Lennox’s Why (we’ll leave you to work out why tears will be flowing) and an original composition from The Jerry Springer Opera’s Richard Thomas.
An audience-assisted reading of a Wiccan poem is a key comic highlight, whilst a Skype delivered reading from Myra’s sister Rose also leads to an amusing spot of audience interaction (“What word did you take from that?”). Watching the star bounce of an game audience is an engaging comic treat – yet she is the comic draw.