'Baby Face' by Katy Dye @ Camden People's Theatre

Playing at Camden People's Theatre, 9pm Wednesday 7th October.

Tickets £8, available here: http://www.cptheatre.co.uk/show/baby_face.php#.VgAAjN9Viko.

Baby Face is a new performance by emerging theatre artist, Katy Dye, that is an exploration of how adult women are infantilised today. In Baby Face, Katy seeks to question how ordinary it is for women to be made to appear and feel childlike. It is normal to refer to an adult woman as a ‘girl’, as it is also normal for her to have tiny bows sewn into the front of her knickers and shave her body hair off. Beauty products aimed at women encourage them to look younger and younger, and even resemble young children or babies. Maybelline’s Baby Lips lip gloss explicitly references this: ‘It’s clinical care for baby soft lips!’ And whilst adult women are being babyfied and infantilised, young children are becoming more sexualized. In 2014, new company Heelarious was launched to sell high heels for babies from 0 – 6 months old. The photographs of child models such as Kristineria Primevira and Thylane Lena Blondeau have caused controversy because they clearly depict prepubescent girls as sexually-aware adult women.

Baby Face will explore stereotypical images of female infantilisation, such as the little girl, the sexy schoolgirl, the soft-skinned baby and the pouting princess to unpick and understand their complex effects. It will explore why people are so uncomfortable to use the word 'woman' and, in turn, feel like a woman. It will draw attention to the desire to be cared for and the blurry lines between protection, tenderness and infantilisation. It will explore the challenging reality of being a woman today when, in many ways, women are still expected to look and act like little girls.

Katy Dye is an emerging artist whose work is often concerned with dehumanisation, censorship and freedom of speech. Katy creates devised performances and theatre pieces that get the audience to experience afresh difficult aspects of human nature, and how we can begin to acknowledge and talk about their effects. Her recent work Instruments of Torture, created with musician Zac Scott and performed at the Arches, 2015 was described as ‘intense, thought-provoking and beautiful’ (Joyce Mcmillan, The Scotsman).

Author's review: