Leicester Comedy Festival review: Myra DuBois at the Cookie

MyraDuBoisDeadFunny_680x680Review by Emily Pratchett

An effortless ability to draw in a crowd with a swift wit, sensational singing and shameless character – Myra DuBois is simply a gift that keeps on giving.

A funeral is no laughing matter, but DuBois makes one hell of an event, if it is your time to go better do it with some flare and jazz hands. What do you expect from the theme ‘Dead Funny’ anyway?

Myra DuBois – the persona taken on by Gareth Joyner – is the self-proclaimed ‘Siren of South Yorkshire’ is an act of drag-queen character genius, propelling her way through the comedy industry, from the Edinburgh Fringe to BBC1’s The John Bishop Show, leaving a trail of sequins, glitter and hairspray cans behind her. Of course, no one ever said glamour would be easy.

Faults in the show? None spring to mind, and the Cookie reverberated with laughter.

Although saying that it was her life-long dream to perform in a basement in Leicester, it did not seem that way. But the stage served both the audience and the performer well.

It was clear that somebody with a big personality is meant for a bigger stage, somewhere more open, as it was commented that rather than a comedy gig, it felt more like a hostage situation.

To keep to the theme of it being the ‘Death of Myra DuBois’, her show ‘Dead Funny’ was light-hearted with some dark humour thrown around in places. Enough to get the crowd’s laughter going but not so sensitive that it would clear a room. A healthy combination.

The performance was lively and upbeat, no awkward silences or tumbleweeds rolling across the room. She kept it light, joyful and conversational through getting to know her audience and not just the front row.  No one was safe from a little torment. A light audience participation never hurt anyone, except maybe some introverts.

DuBois welcomes both new and old fans with open arms, calling them newfound ‘AdMyra’s’ (catchy) showing them gratitude for them taking time out to watch her show. As they leave the show, she thanks them individually at the door, hoping she had wowed them enough that they’ll see her again. A truly unmissable performer.

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