Writer: Jen Ives
Reviewer: Simon Topping
Jen Ives is transgender, but she doesn’t want to talk about it, so she heads up her show saying. “There is plenty more about me to talk about”, she exclaims. And so there is, in this 40 minutes of impish and irreverent material full of laughs, wonderfully delivered.
Ives, a rising star of the London comedy circuit, has been the finalist of many new comedy act competitions over the past couple of years (including Leicester Mercury and Laughing Horse) with very good reason. Her self assured demeanour, with a sprinkling of self-deprecation, has the audience quickly engaged and listening to this likeable performer. She is immediately interesting and more importantly, just as swiftly, very funny.
Despite Ives’ protestations, no topic, including her gender, appears to be off limits, as she draws the crowd into her life happenings and world view.
Until recently a Brighton resident, Ives starts in with a tirade about how she hates the seaside city; it is deliberately provocative and teasing. Continuing, Ives covers all things covering her life right at this moment, including moving in with her dad in South London, with its inevitable tensions, how she enjoys being the centre of attention at family funerals and a small rant about The Ladyboys of Bangkok. All of which have the room in fits of laughter.
A favourite section of the gig is a hilarious section about gay penguins; it is marvellously bonkers.
Ives has established a unique comedy voice. Her tone is mocking, yet playful, with shades of Stewart Lee. She is a joy to watch and a stellar new talent.
Ives’ witty, well crafted and sparkling set is a prime example of the best of what the fringe has to offer. She is one to watch, who knows what fabulous things are in store for this fantastic stand up in the future. Go and see her now.
Reviewed on 29 May 2019 | Image: Contributed