A BRAND new play at a Colchester theatre will tell a story of a woman willing to shorten her life to stay beautiful. 

Five Years, which is set to be staged at Mercury Theatre in Colchester on May 12, uses cutting-edge hologram technology to turn the spotlights on body dissatisfaction and the devastating effects it can have on our mental health.

The thought-provoking 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.

Gazette: Theatre - Five Years to come to Mercury Theatre on May 12Theatre - Five Years to come to Mercury Theatre on May 12 (Image: Mercury Theatre)

She considers undertaking 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.

Speaking about the show writer and performer Hayley Davis said: "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.

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"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 nearly one in three women would trade at least one year of their life to achieve their ideal body.

One in four would trade five years of their life.

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In the play, the possibility of this exchange is a reality and 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.

Using innovative digital technology developed with Sheffield Hallam University, the play looks at how women are bombarded with negative messages about their appearance and how this influences the way we see ourselves. 

For more information, or to book tickets, visit mercurytheatre.co.uk.