Four adverts fit to make Sophie Dahl blush hang around the Orange Tree, threatening to turn it blue. Susi Ramon (Mia Austen) has been plucked from gogo-dancing obscurity to become the face of She perfume. But person and product become so interlinked that, when its deadly toxicity is revealed, it's Susi who bears the public anger.
Disconcertingly, Ana Diosdado's allegory about General Franco's fascism works almost at face-value today, 40 years on, unpicking the grip of consumer capitalism. While its critique of advertising feels naive (we're wise to such tricks and swallow them anyway), the question of its ubiquity is more potently topical.
This is raised through the figure of journalist Juan (Steven Elder), whose cynicism and quiet complicity stops short of any attempt to spark change. When he's sent to interview Susi, the two embark on a week-long affair. Holed up in her flat, they build a personal utopia that can't last.
Sam Walters's production is undeniably nifty, overlapping locations and tricksy time-shifts with real ease, but little of Diosdado's plot really convinces. The real problem rests with the plausibility of Ramon's fate – after all, no-one's hounding today's models for the immoralities of the fashion industry.
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