By Rita Bratovich
There are very few people who like to think about their own death, but Myra DuBois fully embraces her mortality in her hilarious show, Dead Funny, which she’s bringing to Sydney for Mardi Gras.
“I stage my own funeral but it’s very tongue in cheek. It’s concept, but it’s a loose one,” explains Myra. “It’s an excuse for me to spend an hour with people, possibly even longer if I’m having a good time.”
The show is themed around a funeral service. Audience members arrive to the strains of ambient music. Myra greets them, they exchange condolences, and then guests are shown or pointed to or just told to find a seat.
The set will be simple and tasteful…somewhat.
“I believe that the Opera House has sourced a coffin,” Myra laughs. She had to take a publicity photo sitting inside the coffin.
“It was a little weird at first. But I tell you what, they’re not designed to get out of.”
The show is essentially stand up, with original songs written by Richard Thomas, who wrote Jerry Springer: The Musical.
Myra also interacts a lot with the audience so there’s quite a bit of improv. It means that every show is different and a little unpredictable.
To help ease the mood, specially created cocktails will be on sale.
“Apparently it’s going to be one of the only places in Sydney where you can get a drink,” laughs Myra.
So what inspired a show about death? Myra says she was trying to think up a theme and asked herself some essential questions.
“What has a strong aesthetic that you can craft a show around, that I’m given an opportunity to talk about myself. And then I thought, there’s no occasion where you can talk more about a person other than that person’s funeral. So I’ve moved it forward – ‘presthumously.’”
Although this will be her first visit to Australia, Myra has a very strong fan base back in England – “I call them the ‘adMyras” – and she believes many of them will be in town for Mardi Gras.
“I’ve got a very good relationship with my fan base…they come again and again and again and again. It’s like a cult, really; it’s got a kind of almost Rocky Horror Show quality. They all have their bits that they shout out and they join in.”
This is a rare chance to attend a funeral rehearsal – you won’t be able to live with yourself if you miss it.
Dead Funny, Feb 18 – 29, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, from $49 +fees; www.sydneyoperahouse.com