Fiona Ramsay gives a tour de force performance in this highly thought-provoking and powerful piece of theatre. (Review by Caroline Smart)
One of the Flagship productions at the recent Hilton Arts Festival was Blonde Poison written by South African playwright, Gail Louw. Directed by Janna Ramos-Violante, it featured an excellent performance by Fiona Ramsay.
This is a powerful piece of solo theatre with effective production and lighting design. Appropriate voice-overs and sound effects are well-handled.
As the show opens, Stella Goldschlag (Ramsay) is waiting at the window for a childhood friend. Now a respected journalist he has asked to interview her and she considers the forthcoming retelling of her tragic story.
“How can you know what you will do to stay alive?” she asks as she looks back on her life to the time when, as a German Jewess, she was living illegally in war-torn Berlin. In order to save her parents from being deported to the death camps, she was forced to betray to the Gestapo her knowledge of Jews in hiding. It’s a harrowing tale as she relates her memories of the cruelty and torture she suffered at the hands of the Gestapo.
She reminisces how she changed from a beautiful woman full of love and tenderness to a “sorry mess” – a callous creature of depravity and treachery.
Ramsay’s tour de force performance in this highly thought-provoking and powerful piece of theatre forces us to put ourselves in Stella’s position and examine what our responses would be to her situation. – Caroline Smart
For more information on the annual Hilton Arts Festival visit https://www.hiltonfestival.co.za