Edinburgh Fringe 2014
"Direct from London’s West End. Fringe 2013’s ‘stand-out burlesque act’ **** (Fest), international cabaret showgirl, comedienne and bombshell, Ivy Paige, invites you to her Little Red Box, her late-night hotspot for a smouldering, saucy, sexy and hilarious evening of scandal, secrets and song. Featuring live music performed by Pete Saunders from Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Ivy will reveal more than just killer curves as you find out why she really is a wanted woman."
Some things are inescapable. Alcatraz was inescapable (apparently). So too are the boundaries of time and space. The sumptuous glories of Ivy Paige are likewise inescapable. In a world overpopulated with lacklustre burlesque shows and OK-I-guess cabaret acts, Ivy stands out as the real deal. “Not too naughty but ever so nice” is the description of her by one former archbishop (supposedly on a family break, pre-book festival, but allegedly in town early to wait upon the buxom Miss Paige).
Ivy looks marvellous as she takes to the stage at Underbelly. Long red head. Legs that go all the way to the ground and a waist that Warwick Davis can (reputedly) get his arms round 3 times over. Is she lovely? Does she look like a million renminbi fresh from the Chinese laundry? Sure, but it’s her two most prominent assets I’ve come to see.
Firstly, Paige sounds like Christopher Isherwood wrote. She has a vocal range that rainbows from husky allure to power ballad belter. Her songs (a mix of auld and new) perfectly showcase her faculties. Secondly, Paige is funny, and I mean funny haha. She can do innuendo without reaching the end of the pier, bawdy without taking the Viz, and self-deprecating without losing the plot.
Paige has had an adventurous life. She’s been there, done him and has the t-shirt to prove it (not that she’d be seen dead in such a garment). Like everything else, it’s all on show. But does it appeal to that hard to reach segment of the crowd? I’m a bloke. I’ve been pre-programmed, since before our ancestors crawled out of the primordial ocean, to be fascinated by Ivy Paige. This night I’m in company with a bevy of my own fabulous frauleins, the Current Mrs Dan included.
Women love Ivy because they see themselves in her (and not the version they see in the mirror which requires a further 40 minutes to get ready with the taxi downstairs and his meter running). I’ve been hearing about empowerment since Mum explained the fishes and the bicycles, Ivy is empowerment personified, an Egyptian goddess without the jackal head.
The new venue is ideal for her. Her lighting, sound and tech are spot on. The light is liquid. It’s due either to the steam rising from the expectant masses yearning for their first glimpse of Ivy, or it’s dry ice. Either way the effect is to cocoon the sultry songstress and the man in her life (Pete Saunders of Dexy’s Midnight Runners fame) in the most luxurious bath since Prince Bertie last stepped out the tub at Le Chabanais.
If every Edfringe show was good as Ivy Paige’s Kiss and Sell, August would never end. It’s the most exciting blend since Earl Grey decided the flavour of bergamot was his cup of tea.