New review: Perfume, power and popular media

A play written four decades ago by Spanish playwright Ana Diosdado receives its UK premiere. Eli Davies appreciates its continued relevance though is disappointed by the play’s focus

YOURS FOR THE ASKING Orange Tree 2 - Robert Day.jpgThere is plenty of promise in the premise of Yours for the Asking. It is, after all, a play written by a woman in an environment where that wasn’t exactly the done thing – specifically, forty years ago in Spain under the rule of Franco. Not only would it have been somewhat unconventional for a woman to write plays for performance, the subject matters Diosdado chose – those of media and journalism amongst other themes – would have been particularly sensitive.

Eli Davies went to see the production, and although she found some of the messages still relevant in today’s consumerist society, she also discovered that the play is more focused on the male lead than the female characters, who are sidelined into supporting roles although their positions hold a lot of interest. Susi, for example, is a model who poses naked in adverts for a perfume that leads to the poisoning of three children. As Eli puts it, “Susi’s tale is a familiar one: a young, attractive woman is admired, commodified and then vilified.”

Click here to read Eli’s review of Yours for the Asking.