Northern chanteuse, cabaret sensation and TV starlet Myra DuBois has always been something of an innovator, with people observing her shows really are like nothing else on Earth. Next week at the Soho Theatre she continues to push that glittering envelope with a week of Christmas shows… in May! We sent Dave Cross to find out more from the lady herself.
Hello Myra, a Christmas spectacular in May, what kind of craziness is this?
Mad isn’t it, Dave? But that’s me you see; always thinking outside of the box. Christmas is just so much FUN, isn’t it Dave? And it’s something we all have in common here in the UK. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you can’t help but experience it can you? I thought it would be a wonderful theme to bond a room with. Is the show a deep a probing exploration of the hold capitalism has over Christmas, or is it a cheap attention grabbing gimmick? You’ll have to come along to find out.
Can you remember the moment that you had this groundbreaking idea and what was the inspiration?
I’ve done an annual Christmas Special in London over the last three years. The first was at the Charing Cross Theatre, the second was at The Grand in Clapham and last year we found ourselves in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank, so I’ve been doing Christmas shows for years. I’ve also been going to the Edinburgh Fringe for years, and in January 2018 the question arose: what show should we take to Edinburgh this year? Then it struck me, why not do the Christmas show?! So we did. The rest as they say is history.
Can you walk us through the wonderland that is We Wish you a Myra Christmas?
It has everything you would expect from a traditional family Christmas including arguments, alcohol abuse, enough Quality Streets to induce a diabetic coma and Jesus. I also do a couple of songs, there’s a wonderful medley of favourites in there and a special original song called ‘Single At Christmas’ written by Richard Thomas, who you may know as the man who wrote Jerry Springer: The Opera! Plus a few inevitable surprises along the way, largely because I tend to make it up as I go along.
Many other superstar divas have recorded Christmas albums or performed Christmas shows, would you say your show is more Mariah Carey or Kate Bush or The Wombles?
This is a terrible question but then again I’m hardly talking to The Times so what did I expect? My show is like none of those things; I’m doing Christmas as only I, Myra DuBois (off the television) can do it. It’s impossible to compare me to any of those other ‘artists’.
Can we expect to be dazzled by stunning festive sets and production?
You can indeed. We ordered the set off Amazon today. There’s a tree so big we think it might have been gifted to us by Norway and of course, a fireplace with flaming logs; because how else will Santa get in?
And what about your outfits. Which designers are you favouring?
My couture Christmas creation was fashioned by Nixon Point of Brighton and it’s quite something! Ruffles on top of bows bedazzled with sequins and chiffon… It has to be seen to be believed!
2019 has already been a very busy year for you, can you tell us about a few of the things you’ve done?
Well my garden was becoming unmanageable so I had the gardener round to sort that out. I’m getting a new telly this month too, or did you mean professionally? PROFESSIONALLY I’ve just been gigging around the country, performing my one woman concerts in bars, pubs, clubs and theatres to AdMyras across the nation.
And what else is coming up?
My Christmas spectacular at the Soho Theatre at the end of this month. BOOK YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
Make the Yule-Tide MAY!
Myra DuBois’ Top Tips for Tackling Christmas (in May)
My hit show from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, We Wish You A Myra Christmas, is hitting the Soho Theatre later this month. “But wait!” you’re thinking, “Woah there, hang on a second Myra (off the telly). THIS month? But this month is May?” That’s right reader. Why on earth would I do a Christmas show at Christmas with all that competition playing in other theatres! No, I shall do MY festive offering in May. But I’m nothing if not honest (in a very humble way) dear reader, and I do admit it’s going to take my audience a bit of reacclimatising to celebrate the Yuletide at this time of the year. With this in mind, here are my foolproof top tips on enjoying Christmas to its full potential. But in May.
1: Give into it!
There can be no half measures when ‘doing Christmas’ in May. A subtle bit of tinsel delicately placed on a lapel won’t cut it I’m afraid. Everything must be metaphorically (or literally, actually) wrapped in 20 bows with bells on x 1000. Surrender fully and immerse yourself completely in the Kringle spirit.
2: Listen to it!
Little stimulates more than music. In the days/weeks leading up to the show listen to nothing but Christmas tunes on your morning commute. Sing along! Sod what your fellow passengers might think. Spotify have entire radio stations dedicated to the seasonal genre, available the year round; use ‘em.
3. Simulate it!
So you’re coming to my Christmas show in the evening? Why not spend the daytime locked up and arguing with relatives you rarely see? Nothing makes me feel more festive than a shouting match with a second cousin twice removed that I haven’t seen since the last family funeral. If you’re very lucky, there’ll be an old Aunt in the mix that reads the Daily Mail.
4. Take advantage of it!
As the summer approaches you’ll be seeing an increasing amount of sources urging you to have your beach body ready. How can you do that when you’ve spent the spring eating turkey dinners and mince pies? If anyone asks when your beach body is arriving just shrug and say “Christmas”.
5. Make a festivity of it!
Bring a group of people along! Friendship circles, work colleagues; that sort of thing! No one should have to spend Christmas alone – especially not in my audience! Grab a group of friends and I’ll see you there!