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Blonde Poison | Playground Theatre

Blonde Poison, written by Gail Louw and directed by Fred Abrahamse, follows the story of Stella Goldschlag, a German Jew woman who survived the Holocaust by betraying hundreds of other Jews. Stella, now in her 70s, is still haunted by the consequences of her actions, and plagued by guilt, both internally and externally. 

Blonde Poison is a masterclass in both writing and performing a compelling one person piece. Louw has ensured that every word counts and contributes to the show, painting an extremely vivid imagery with her words. Ramsay further brings these words to life through her performance and the audience is able to feel her emotions. The audience are given a front row seat in Stella's journey, and experiences her past in the moment. The fear and fury ripples throughout the piece, propelling the narrative. 

Fiona Ramsay is utterly captivating as Stella, and draws the audience in with her words. Ramsay has the audience hanging onto her every word, reliving the experiences in front of us. In doing so, the audience no longer sees the seventy something Stella, but the twenty one year old, who was thrust into an unforgiving world. Stella's story is horrific as true tales of torture and unbearable grief is inflicted upon her, and the audience feel each strike. 

The theatre is a large space, with only a single chair placed in the middle of a long white strip of flooring (Marcel Meyer). Yet the room feels intimate and almost claustrophobic as Ramsay pulls the audience in, demanding and commanding full attention. 

Louw is careful not to apologise or excuse Stella's actions in condemning hundreds of other Jews to concentration camps, nor does Ramsay portray her as a sympathetic figure. However, with the striking question "what would you do to survive?" Aimed into the audience, Stella becomes known and familiar to the audience. 

A mysterious voice over interrupts Stella frequently, with the piercing question "how can you live with yourself?". The subsequent reveal of this person adds to the already moving climax of the show. 

Blonde Poison is a must watch show that challenges the notions and morals of being human, and leaves you feeling both amazed by Ramsay's performance and slightly haunted by the chilling truths and questions in Louw's writing. It is currently playing at the Playground Theatre until the 3rd of March. For more tickets and information, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Fiona MacPherson


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