New play 5 Years at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre uses innovative technology to discuss toxic beauty standards.
Would you trade five years of your life for the perfect body? A brand-new play coming to Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre next month asks audiences this question and tells the story of one woman who is prepared to do just that.
5 Years, at the SJT on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 April, uses cutting edge hologram technology to turn the spotlight on body dissatisfaction and the devastating effects it can have on mental health.
The show centres on Yasmin, a woman in her 30s who wants the exciting, glamorous life she has always dreamed of but that her XXL body doesn’t fit. She is about to undertake a radical cosmetic procedure that promises to deliver the perfect body and the contentment that seems just out of reach. But it comes at a cost.
Writer and performer Hayley Davis says: “I’m really excited to bring this play to the stage. Although the subject matter is quite serious, it’s a funny, warm, show and uses some really ambitious, innovative tech. As someone who has struggled with my own body image, I am very familiar with the damage that we can do to ourselves in the hope of measuring up to an ever shifting ideal of beauty. I think if more of us stopped and thought about it, we’d realise that our time could be better spent on pursuing other things.”
A 2011 survey conducted in the UK found that 30% of women would trade at least one year of their life to achieve their ideal body; 20% would trade five years. In 5 Years, the possibility of this exchange is a reality. Yasmin will be the first woman to undergo this procedure. As she waits for the doctor to arrive and ‘fix’ her, she reveals her experiences and the messages she has received that have brought her to this drastic decision.
5 Years is written by Hayley Davis, directed by Rebecca Gadsby and supported by Sheffield Theatres. It’s performed by Hayley Davis and Lauren Poveda. Using innovative digital technology developed with Sheffield Hallam University, it looks at how we are bombarded with negative messages about our appearance and how this influences the way we see ourselves. Ultimately it asks: what do we lose in the quest for perfection?
5 Years can be seen at the SJT at 7.45pm on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 April. Tickets, priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at http://www.sjt.uk.com/