Comedy sensation, Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist and self-professed wellness guru Myra Dubois is bringing her brand-new show Be Well to The Stand Newcastle this October.
Centred around her new manifesto for wellness “AdMyrism”, the show promises plenty of laughter and even a bit of self-betterment advice too!
NE1’s Helen Armitage caught up with Myra for a chat during her press junket to find out more about “AdMyrism” and what fans can expect from her upcoming show.
Hello Myra! How are you doing today?
I’m doing very well thank you, Helen. I’m doing one of my favourite things. I’m having back-to-back conversations talking about myself.
Ideal isn’t it? My favourite subject is talking about myself too.
I think everyone should have a press day. They're wonderful.
You're going to be stopping by Newcastle in October with your new show Be Well. What can your fans expect from it?
What can they expect? Well, they can expect a constant pouring of sage and healing advice from one of the most relevant idols - Can I say? Is that conceited? – in contemporary culture all interspersed with singing and very tightly executed choreography.
It sounds amazing! We’ve heard it’s all about your manifesto for wellness “AdMyrism.” Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Yes, I can. It’s a self-betterment programme, a self-help regime based on one core principle – one step. Some programmes have 12 steps, my programme for self-betterment has one and that’s “get over it.” We start from there and we work backwards. We put a lid on it and then we go through.
There are other things in it as well. We do a little bit of meditating. Do you meditate Helen?
I don’t, no. I should probably take it up though.
Oh, you should do! I advise it. I meditate all the time. I've done it several times during this interview.
I've just stared out of the window for a moment and looked at a leaf and gone ‘huh’ and then remembered we’re having a conversation.
So meditate… and medicate too – that’s important!
You’re a self-professed wellness guru. If you could give one piece of wellness advice, what would it be?
I’ve shot my big guns early on, haven’t I? Well, I’d just “get over it” you know.
Basically “get over it” – that’s your mantra?
Just get over it. Get over it. If anyone comes up to me and they say “Ooh, Myra, I’m feeling a bit sad”, I put a gentle caring hand on their forearm and I say “Get over it”. You see the worry drain from their face. Yes, that would be my main piece of advice. And also, hydrate.
Meditate, medicate, hydrate and get over it?
There it is, yeah. There’s another, but I don’t know what time this is going out so I won’t continue that rhyme!
We’ll keep it family-friendly!
We’ll keep it family-friendly, but get a couple of triple-As in just in case.
You’re also known for your heavenly singing voice. Will there be any musical numbers in your new show?
Of course there will be, yes! It’s a series, actually, of original songs. The music has been composed by a longtime collaborator of mine called Gregor Reid who has done such high-brow projects as the music for the Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers. Which is quite funny actually because my show is bit of a river rapid of emotions, you know, so our work goes well together.
And the lyrics, well they came up in workshop, I’ll say that much. So there are some original songs in it - all original songs, all singing, all dancing.
Do you know what I wanted when I put this show together, Helen? You're the first person I’ve said this to as well while I’m doing my little press junket. When I was putting the show together I said, “Team, I want every bit of this show to lift the audience. That’s the only thing I want.”
I want everyone in the theatre to leave in a better mood than they entered it because it’s been a tough few years for many people – for many, many years – and we’re living through tough times. And I know at the moment when people separate themselves from their money to spend the evening in your company, you have a duty to make sure that they have had their money’s worth. Because money’s worth an awful lot at the moment, isn’t it?
It certainly is.
Exactly! So everything - right down to my costumes, the colour scheme of the show, the music has all been written in a major key - everything is designed to lift people up and elevate them and send them out of that theatre in a better mood than they entered it. And all through the mere act of a little bit of contact with me. That’s quite a power to have, Helen.
It’s quite a power indeed! We hear that your brother-in-law Frank Lavender is your support act. Do you enjoy touring with your brother-in-law?
Oh, I wish we hadn’t brought that up, Helen. We’ll be discouraging people from attending the show now!
My sister Rose who left showbiz … We used to be in a double act you know, Helen? We were in a double act called the Prescott Girls. We used to do the pubs and clubs of South Yorkshire before she retired from show business at my insistence. It’s quite sad actually because she was diagnosed with a very near-fatal lack of talent - by me, diagnosed by me.
So she left show business, and she was quite happy. She had a little beauty counter down Rotherham market – Beauty by Rose. She was selling lots but she doesn’t do it anymore because … well, we had to settle out of court.
But anyway, she now follows this Frank around. They married. He used to work in this club in Rotherham where I’m from. He's not a very funny man, but do you know what he does do?
No, what does he do?
He lowers expectations of the audience before I come on. Going back to what I just said, I want them leaving the theatre in a better mood than they entered it. Before I do that, we drag them down into a worse mood with the quote-unquote “comedy” of self-identifying comedian Frank Lavender.
Do you or Frank have any interesting pre-show rituals?
Do you know what I like to do? I like to centre myself in front of the mirror. What I do is when Frank goes on, I hear my introduction music that signals that he’s about to start and I turn off the intercom so I don’t hear any of it. Then I sit there and I look in the mirror and I transcend.
I don’t close my eyes - you wouldn’t if you were me and you were looking in a mirror. But I just sit and I look and I transcend and I just wait for that little knock on the door that says “Myra, they’re ready for you.” Then I know it's my time and then I come back down. I’m meditating. I'm always meditating.
You've performed at The Stand in Newcastle before. Do you enjoy a Geordie crowd?
I do! I love The Stand. It was one of my favourite stops on the tour. All of The Stands actually.
And I adore Newcastle. I'll tell you what I enjoyed when I was in Newcastle. I had a saveloy dip down the market.
We love a saveloy dip in Newcastle.
Who doesn’t love a saveloy dip? I was a little taken aback when I was first offered one but when it was explained to me I thought I’d give it a go. Oh, it was absolutely delicious. I adored it. Mmm, the cuisine capital.
Did you get a chance to sample the city’s legendary nightlife while you were up here?
No, I didn’t. But I looked out from the hotel window and got the general gist.
It can get quite wild up here.
It’s quite wild and if I was Mr Greggs, I wouldn’t have one of my bakeries open at that time but that’s me for you.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to your Geordie fans while I’ve got you?
Be well. That’s all I want them to do – be well. And a great way to be well is to book a ticket to my show!
We can’t wait to see you in Newcastle later this year and thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, Myra!
Oh, thank you, Helen. It’s been gorgeous!
Myra Dubois: Be Well is coming to The Stand Newcastle on Sunday 15th October 2023. Standard tickets cost £17.50, but for £30 you can enjoy a meet and greet with Myra herself. To book tickets visit The Stand Newcastle.
Both Myra DuBois and Frank Lavender are comic creations of character comedian Gareth Joyner.