Ivy Paige opens her show gliding on stage in full sequins and crystals, elegantly poised as the heady beats of It’s Raining Men blasts in the background. She injects energy with her mere presence, and welcomes us as her lovers past, present and future – because ‘pronouns all sound the same when you have a ball gag in your mouth’. This sets the scene for what is to be fifty minutes oozing with sexuality, seduction and song, and all on Paige’s terms – as it should be.
Fifty minutes of filthy and funny cabaret
Conjuring up an atmosphere akin to a smoky jazz bar, the sophisticated Paige engages in easy humour and uninhibited audience interaction. The theme of the show is ‘Seduction’, and with references throughout the show to her winning appearance on The Voice, this harks back to how the press referred to her. As a strong and independent woman, Paige wanted to flip the idea of being seen merely as seductive, and with a nod to the culture of pick-up tips for males, she wants to offer something for women. There is a strong element of female empowerment to the show, with observations that strong and powerful women are called witches and burned – a reference to the historical, as well as symbolism for the very real culture of misogyny today.
Paige captivates us with her indomitable vocals, and wields the power they cast over us as she roars one spellbinding original after another. This allows her audience interaction where she sits on mens’ laps; instructs them to carry her around the room; read her love letters and throw her roses etc whilst they are enslaved by her wishes, and she repays them with gentle ridicule. Her vocals are so powerful that it seems implausible that the Bubble at Assembly can contain such a force. But it does, and she projects her ballads beautifully as she sings about the many things which seduce people – whether it be fame, jewels or danger. This introduces a phenomenal cover of Madonna’s Material Girl, slowed down in Paige's own bespoke style.
Paige’s jazz bar vintage vibes and sensational vocals are the star of this show. I was unconvinced about whether she had achieved her aim to deconstruct the patriarchal concept of seduction, or even her own mission statement about helping us learn more about the topic. The audience interaction was awkward at times, though she managed to bend their wills at her bequest, so they were on board with what she had to offer. There were lots of comedic one liners thrown in, however some of the dialogue seemed over rehearsed and tired as a result. However – due to the strength of Paige’s vocals, the originality of her songs and the fact that there was a very definite and cohesive thread running throughout the performance, this was still a very slick and professional show. Fifty minutes of filthy and funny cabaret which will thrill even the most cynical of audiences.