Baby Paradise: Part Two follows directly on from Part One. Here we were left with performer, writer and director Anna Valeska Pohl telling the audience that Part Two gets darker. Spoiler Alert – it doesn’t. In fact you could just read the review for Baby Paradise: Part One and be done with it, because Part Two is almost identical. There appears to be no reason whatsoever to break the show into two parts. It has the same themes, same set and theesame character doing the exact same thing.
As mentioned above we are in the same location as before. Broken Barbie dolls are still lying on the floor of the installation space. This imagery is layered on thick. We are obviously seeing a broken person and this time around the point feels over emphasised. However, some venerability is shown. Briefly. At one point the performer mentions Donald Trump and seems to be taking the show down a new route. The irony here actually works well, but it is too short a moment to feel powerful.
During the show several audience members walk out. The walkouts may have been due to the sexual content, but possibly more likely down to the awkward audience interaction that, as with Part One, fell flat.
Baby Paradise Part One and Two are presented as an immersive installation. Maybe the presentation is part of the problem. If the show was exhibited in a gallery context, where the audience could come and go at their leisure, it might actually work better as an experience. This would be an endurance test for the performer, but Anna Valeska Pohl seems like she could be up to the task. There is no doubt she is an artist that likes to tackle important subjects. Anna definitely has something worthwhile to say and it will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.