Baby Paradise (parts 1 and 2)
- Gareth K Vile
- 27 August 2018
Uncomfortable for the wrong reasons
Aiming to expose the uglier side of sex work – or possibly commenting on the sexualisation of children – Baby Paradise is a one person show that is lightly immersive and presents, over two, hour long shows, a trip into the darker side of sexual desire. Based on the myth of Persephone and Hades – an idea that is barely developed but frequently referenced – the production engages the small audience in a conversation with a woman who seems to be pimping a collection of dolls.
Theoretically powerful, the execution is sadly limited. The audience hear a monologue about the woman's introduction to sex work, and she invites them to book a session with various dolls. There are comments on Trump as the perfect alpha male, the sexualisation of racial characteristics and extended periods of discomfort, which are mostly caused by the audience's lack of engagement. There seems to be little structure to the two shows, more a reiteration of the basic idea. Sexual exploitation is a bad thing.
Baby Paradise never really earns the extreme subjects it explores: not sensational or explicit, it invokes child rape but never delves into either the personality or consequences for the victim. A bold intention is not supported by strong dramaturgy or sense of purpose.