Baby Face (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Baby Face

credit. Daniel Hughes

Unrelenting physical theatre exploring the sexualisation of youth

Baby Face, a solo performance by Katy Dye, explores the infantilisation of adult women in a society that equates attractiveness with youth. Using her self-described 'physical childlike attributes' (a lean dancer's body), a plastic highchair and some baby toiletries, she explores the uncomfortable reality of a world where young girls are sexualised.

Dye brings an intense and unrelenting physicality to the performance: dancing over, under and around the highchair, throwing it in the air like a baby and spinning it dizzyingly around her head. She speeds through characters: a doting mother, a provocative teenager, a wailing toddler as she shows how both sexualisation and infantilisation can be forced on someone but also invited. As she asks a woman to stroke her hair and a man if he fancies her, Dye's complete control of the room never wavers.

The script is compact, with funny flashes, particularly a monologue made up of snippets from skincare slogans but some of it is lost in the pulsing backing track. By the end of the performance Dye is down to her underwear and moves seamlessly and unnervingly between sexualised writhing and a baby wiggling, moaning then gurgling. Baby Face is an often uncomfortable show that throws a mix of messages into the air along with the talcum powder.

Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 1.30pm, £9 (£7).

Baby Face

  • 3 stars

Katy Dye dresses up as a baby to explore the infantilisation of women and the sexualisation of innocence.