It has often been said that Myra DuBois is an act way ahead of her time. Ok, well I’m not sure if that’s strictly true, but it does provide a thinly disguised opening gambit for this review and at the very least doing a Christmas show in August is forward thinking.
Lke passengers on a runaway minibus with Myra at the wheel.
Dressed in layers of red and green mesh fabric and bright scarlet sequins, it would be easy to describe this as drag - but that definition is lazy and doesn’t recognise the genius of character comedy that DuBois’ alter ego (or possibly ‘handler’), Gareth Joyner has created.
Audience participation isn’t just expected in the presence of DuBois, it’s demanded: The shy ones who decided to sit at the back are soon marched to the few remaining empty seats at the front and within the first few minutes of the show Myra is chatting with her audience setting up the ingenious callbacks that will come later.
The quick wit and ad libs are the iceberg tips of the backstory Joyner has invented for Rotherham’s least celebrated daughter. Although I’m sure Joyner has spent months writing his show, he’s not afraid to let Myra go with whatever this performance will throw at her. And that’s part of the blissful joy of this unpredictable hour of comedy where the intelligence of the comedian is obvious. Today’s stooges are Liam and Sue and Will and just about everyone Myra can get to. They each add something to this show like passengers on a runaway minibus with Myra at the wheel.
The festive season around at Myra’s is spent with song, a box of Quality Street and a whole lot of laughter. Expect to be humiliated, jibed and ridiculed, but above all expect to be entertained.
And if you want to see just how versatile Joyner is at this character comedy malarkey, check out his other creation, Frank Lavender, on the Free Fringe.