Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Myra Dubois: A Problem Shared

By | Published on Saturday 24 October 2020

It’s been a tough year, hasn’t it? However, as we begin the slow and sure descent into the dark days of winter, there is – I recently discovered – a beacon of light in the darkness. For star of stage and screen Myra Dubois is doing monthly streaming shows for you to watch in the cosy surroundings of your own home. That show is called ‘A Problem Shared’.

We first experienced and loved Myra’s work a good few years ago at the Edinburgh Fringe, but we’ve never yet managed to do an interview, so some might say this is long overdue: I put some questions to her, to find out more about ‘A Problem Shared’, as well as her plans for the future.

CM: Shall we begin by talking about your online monthly shows, one of which goes out shortly: can you tell us a bit about the technicalities? How are they broadcast and how do people access them?
MD: I couldn’t tell you a thing about the technicalities I’m afraid! Sorry to disappoint, but you see I’m more the “stand in-front of the camera and connect with the AdMyras spiritually” sort of person in the operation, rather than the people making the tech work. That’s all a bit too ‘manual work’ for me, no offence. But I CAN tell you that they’re accessed via the link that’s emailed to ticket holders on the day of the show. That much I do know.

CM: Now can you tell us a bit about the content of the shows? What can audiences expect?
MD: ‘A Problem Shared’ is three things. It’s me, my wisdom and the people that need it. We turn the cameras on every month and broadcast live from Myra Towers and I sit before my mid-century hospitality unit – with original features – responding to the problems of the public, which they submit on Twitter. I might throw in the occasional song, of course. People WANT me to sing. But that’s okay because, in a way, it’s music therapy. Celebrity friends also write to me and we solve their problems online too. It’s all very cathartic for all involved.

CM: How different is it to digitally deliver these performances? Will people who have seen you perform live see a different side of you?
MD: Oh it’s lovely. I can talk and talk and talk uninterrupted. I think all correspondence should be done this way, quite frankly. I get to lay down my half of the conversation and I know that it’s being received somewhere out there and I don’t have to listen to anyone else.

CM: Did you have to cancel shows because of lockdown?
MD: I’m afraid I did. I was due to be taking ‘A Problem Shared’ – in its original form – to the Edinburgh Fringe 2020 and then Miss Rona slammed on the breaks. I thought about not being able to connect with my AdMyras for all those weeks, months even, and I couldn’t bear it! So we took the show online!

CM: Do you think you might go on doing online stuff even when the pandemic is over?
MD: Oh absolutely. It’s been a wonderful way to make myself available to people across the country. Across the globe even! Who knows, there might even be a few little green men tuning in from their flying saucers! The outreach is limitless!

CM: You recently made it to the semi finals of ‘BGT’. What made you decide to enter and did you enjoy being involved? Are you a fan of the show?
MD: I’m a bit psychic and I sensed that the nation was going to need cheering up in 2020, so I made myself as available as possible and agreed to do ‘BGT’. I graciously stepped aside before the finals though, after a brief consultation with the British Public. We all know I’m the people’s winner though! Just not the people that voted.

CM: Can we go back a bit now and find out a bit about your history? Where does Myra come from and was she always destined to be a performer?
MD: Why are you referring to me in the third person whilst addressing questions to me? I’m from Rotherham, and yes.

CM: What hopes do you have for the (post ‘rona) future?
MD: Well I’d LOVE to do a nice big all-encompassing tour of the UK! I’m very sad not to be doing a pantomime this year, and I miss sitting in the theatre as a punter. I want to go out to dinner with a big group of homosexual friends that all fawn over me before we go to see a show and they all tell me that I should be in it instead of Bonnie Langford.

CM: On a personal level, how have you coped with the changed lifestyle that COVID has forced upon us? How have you stayed sane?
MD: Well, in much the same way that I’m offering my wellness services to the public; I’ve got someone who I turn to for my own woes. My own personal wellness guru, Guru Malcolm. I spent the occasional week in his wellness detention centre in Lytham St Annes. It’s where I am right now actually, as an in-patient. I’m dictating my answers to this interview to one of the nurses.

CM: What will you go out and do once you can go out and do it?
MD: Tour the UK! In fact, we’ve got some dates for 2021 booked in already. Pop over to my website to find them out, and all the ‘A Problem Shared’ info too. You can even buy a t-shirt! Take the whole family on a day out to my website.

‘A Problem Shared’ will be broadcast on 28 Oct, 25 Nov and 24 Dec. For more information and to book tickets, head to this page here.

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