Comedy review: Myra DuBois: Dead Funny, Underbelly, Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Myra DuBois: Dead Funny, Underbelly, Bristo Square
Myra DuBois: Dead Funny, Underbelly, Bristo Square
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“It’s okay to whoop and cheer,” acid-tongued drag sensation Myra DuBois quips.

Myra DuBois: Dead Funny, Underbelly, Bristo Square * * * *

“It’s okay to whoop and cheer,” acid-tongued drag sensation Myra DuBois quips. “It’s what I would have wanted.” The gimmick of the show, you see, is that we are the guests at Myra’s funeral, which comes complete with mawkish tribute photo, black urn, box of tissues and an unusually lively subject. Not many corpses, after all, greet their own mourners high-kicking in leopardskin and sequins and belting out “rest in peace” to the tune of Rescue Me.

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Originally from Rotherham, now based in London, Myra DuBois has become a Fringe fixture in recent years, attracting a loyal gang of “AdMyras” with her razor-sharp gags and fearsome ability to bounce off whatever happens in the room, generally with grandiose put-downs that are witty and warm enough not to offend. “People at my shows don’t check in on Facebook,” she notes, “they mark themselves safe”. It’s unfailingly funny but has also sometimes served as a substitute for much in the way of prepared material. Dead Funny is her best-structured Fringe show to date, with a strong concept and plenty of sharp scripted material, from some convoluted rigmarole involving the reading of a poem to a video link with a relative that cleverly adds an additional dimension to proceedings.

It all makes for Myra’s best show yet, with a foundation of tight scripted material offering comfortable leeway for plentiful improvisation in the moment. Especially sensitive types might feel it veers into the macabre (“Has anyone been to a funeral? Give me a cheer!”) but, as shows about death go, its very lively. Apart from the songs that is. As usual, they get massacred.

BEN WALTERS

Until 25 August

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