Myra DuBois: Be Well ★★★★★

Myra DuBois, peerless global star, descends upon the Edinburgh Fringe, to deliver her wellness seminar

American psychologist Wayne Dyer once said: “A great hallmark of mental wellness is the ability to be in the present moment, fully and with no thoughts of being elsewhere.” He’s dead but the point still stands. 

And the audience at Myra DuBois: Be Well are certainly in the presence of greatness and wouldn’t dare think of being anywhere else. As she reveals in her high-kicking opening song, this Empress of Empathy is “here to help”. Like an Exocet missile of compassion, Myra has zeroed in on the place with the highest ratio of sick people (Edinburgh, naturally) and is ready to carpet bomb her audience of AdMyras with her own unique brand of compassion.

Sizing up the nearest rows to find those most in need of healing, she eyes a woman in the front row on crutches. “I’m not that good” she deadpans. Myra has such a caustic wit, the venue really should have an ambulance on standby to treat the burns she doles out to the audience, especially latecomers!

Barely has she declared to the huddled, adoring mass that she has discovered that she’s an empath, than she’s issuing a diagnosis to a woman that the root of her problem is “you are quite repellent”. Laughing, the woman nods in agreement. When someone foolishly tries to sass Myra back, they are slapped down effortlessly with a derisive “What time’s your show on?”

There is something quite liberating about the fact that no-one is safe. Myra has a thinly-disguised, venomous glee akin to her hair-sake Margaret Thatcher when she was snatching milk away from schoolchildren. Getting an audience member to share their problem publicly, she glazes over. “Sorry I drifted off there”. Don’t expect Oprah from Be Well. You don’t get a platitude and you don’t get a platitude.

About 45 minutes into the show, Myra announces she’s only ten minutes in with the planned content. She reveals unused props, plays some audio (“this’ll make no sense as you’ve not seen the other bits”) and launches into the final song having seemingly jettisoned much of the show. But it doesn’t matter. Whether on or off script, Myra DuBois is one of the quickest wits in the business. She gives a masterclass in malice. No-one can hold a candle to her in terms of audience interaction. And no-one should hold a candle to her either given the amount of lacquer to sustain that iconic hairdo. Outrageous, caustic, clever, and most of all fiercely funny! There’s probably a deeper message in Be Well about not relying on celebrities to find all the answers to life’s problems – but we were too busy crying with laughter to notice. 

Be Well is like Lourdes with laughs. As we limped out of Myra’s kingdom at the King Dome, we all felt, if not exactly healed, then certainly a lot happier. 

It’ll do for Scotland – ★★ stars

Myra DuBois Tickets

Myra DuBois: Be Well runs at Pleasance Dome - KingDome

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