Daphne Kuhn is a brave theatre producer. Without any government sponsorship she occasionally takes on a deserving work without being sure that it will fill houses and pay salaries. She does it because she feels she owes the theatre going public some really good theatre. Blonde Poison is one of those works. The play is about a Jewish Holocaust survivor, which makes it a heavy work. Heavy, but never dull.
Blonde Poison was written by Gail Louw, a former South African now living in London. The script itself is superb. It never lags. As the plot unfolds one is struck by the deft hand of the playwright as one gets to grips with the details of this true tale in which Stella Goldschlag, an aging Jewish woman, is confronted with her past. We enter her world as we discover what she had to do in order to survive. It is set in 1993, nearly a quarter of a century ago.
Theatre veteran, Fiona Ramsay, takes on this incredibly complex character, and in about ninety minutes, she moves from loving daughter and romantic, naive, wife through anguished mother, promiscuous beauty, desperate frightened creature and callous betrayer of her values and then back again to a vulnerable, aging woman. We see her at the age of seventy one, in a moment of crisis, a last chance of redeeming herself and making peace with her past. Ramsay holds us in the palms of her hands as she teases out our own thoughts on Stella Goldschlag’s life choices.
This is definitely a “Wow!” performance, and it will be one of those performances up for another Naledi nomination for Ramsay. Blonde Poison is one of those pieces .which stays with one long after one leaves the theatre.