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EDINBURGH 2019: Myra Dubois Q&A

EDINBURGH 2019: Myra Dubois Q&A

DEAD FUNNY sees acid-tongued, character comic MYRA DUBOIS stage her own funeral for a sardonic side eye at death, dying and the theatrics of grief. Ahead of performing at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe she had a chat with BroadwayWorld.

Tell us a bit about Dead Funny.

It's my latest show, BroadwayWorld! Last year we did Christmas in August with "We Wish You A Myra Christmas" in which I invited the audience over to a (loose) recreation of my living room for Christmas. There was something really rather lovely and quaint in staging the show like this - intimate with a family feel. I thought it would be nice to recreate this for 2019's show and I wracked my brains! "Myra" I said to myself, "Myra, what other occasions do people come together for?" Birthdays were my first thought but then again you see Christmas is a sort of birthday isn't it? And then it hit me; FUNERALS.

Why did you decide to stage your own funeral?

Well I'm not about to let someone else get all of the attention, am I? And let's be honest, at any Myra DuBois performance the fans gather in reverence of me. Is that so different to a funeral? We hired a team of what we hope were scientists to do the research on this and let me tell you, the Venn diagram between a Myra show and Myra's funeral is basically just a circle. Luckily for the audience the only real difference is that any pieces of music chosen by the family will be sung by me, the deceased, rather than played on a portable CD player at the back of the chapel.

How involved do the audience get?

Oh, very. Let's just say that should anyone wish to say a few words at the service, there'll be the opportunity to do that. The thing with my shows is that the relationship between STAR and FANS is different than at other shows available at the Fringe. I'm conversational. I chat. I've played some venues in my time, some of them seating 3000, some of them seating 60. At each one I like to make the audience feel like we're just having a chat, rather than them being performed 'at'. I'll often learn (and immediately forget) the names of audience members and a little bit about their lives. In fact, it's not uncommon for audience members to leave the room feeling like they've made a new friend in me. They haven't. Goodness me no, they're 'fans' not 'friends', but it's lovely that they think otherwise.

Tell us a bit about the music in the show.

It wouldn't be a Myra DuBois show if I didn't serenade my audience with a little number or two, would it? They don't call me 'the Siren from South Yorkshire' for nothing. The show opens with a spectacular medley which has to be seen to be believed, and there's a little 'piece' selected by my sister Rose that I'll be performing halfway through the show. How lovely.

I'm also doing a couple of original songs penned by Olivier Award winning composer Richard Thomas, of 'Jerry Springer the Opera' fame! People often mention that he wrote that after they mention his name. So much so, that by now he must think his name is Richard Thomas Jerryspringertheopera! Not after this. As soon as this show hits the Fringe, I'm sure people will start to say "Richard Thomas? Who wrote original songs for Myra DuBois"?

Who would you like to come to Dead Funny and who would you rather stayed away?

I wouldn't like anyone to stay away! What a negative end that would have been to an otherwise lovely interview. I'm a very inclusive person and all are welcome. I will, quite literally, take anyone's money.

'Myra Dubois: Dead Funny' is at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 31st July - 25th August (not 12th). Tickets and more information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/myra-dubois-dead-funny

Photo credit: Holly Revell

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