New comedy-drama 5 Years asks what price we would pay for the perfect body. Writer and performer Hayley Davis was inspired to write it after being shocked by national research that revealed what people would sacrifice for their physique.
In her play, Yasmin, a woman in her thirties, is prepared to trade five years of her life for physical beauty,
Hayley said: “Research by the Centre for Appearance Research in Bristol asked women in universities what they would be willing to trade to have the perfect body.
“I was really surprised at the responses. These were women in university who were willing to give up a first class degree or salary, some women said they were willing to give up 10 years of their life, and a significant proportion said five years.
“For a play, I thought it would be interesting to have a woman who says yes, then explore how people get to this point. Yasmin is in her thirties and disillusioned with her life. She is picked to be the first woman to go ahead with it and we see what happens from there.”
The 70-minute production harnesses the latest technology to visually explore themes of body image, partnering with Sheffield Hallam University and Bristol-based Holotronica, which specialise in holographic technology .
“We thought a lot about making the show relevant to men as well as women, as more and more we are seeing these issues bleed out into men’s lives in a dangerous way," Hayley adds.
"This pressure to conform to a particular way of looking is coming from everywhere, and men are feeling that as well."
5 Years is at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough on April 24-25; Theatre By The Lake in Keswick (April 28-29); the Duke's Theatre, Lancaster (May 4) and Hull Truck (June 7).
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