Watching the play Blonde Poison I constantly speculated what I would do to save myself and my family from near certain death.
I feel the play’s writer Gail Louw, director Jennifer Hagan and star Belinda Giblin would be pleased to hear this.
Based on a true story, this one woman play is set in the apartment of 70-year-old Stella Kubler, nee Goldschlag. She is a blonde haired, blue-eyed German Jew who is waiting to be interviewed by a journalist who is also an old friend.
Over the next 90 minutes we discover Goldschlag was living illegally in war torn Berlin when she was betrayed, captured and tortured by the Germans. When offered the chance to save herself and her parents from the death camps, she agreed to be a `geifer’ or catcher for the Gestapo and inform on other Jews in hiding.
She was extraordinarily successful and is `credited’ with finding and capturing 3000 Jews. She continued to spy for the Germans even after her parents were sent to their deaths. Eventually she was caught and tried by the Russians. Her four month old child was taken from her and she was sent to a camp for 10 years.
We learn from Goldschlag she was extremely attractive in her younger days thanks to her hair, eyes and good teeth and was adored by family and friends. She still sees herself as being very attractive and feels she was a victim.
At times it’s easy to feel sympathy for Goldschlag especially when she relives the torture she experienced. But then she becomes arrogant and cold blooded and you realise she enjoyed her work. She even states the look of fear on the faces of those she betrayed provided near sexual excitement.
Giblin’s performance is excellent. She portrays Goldschlag’s many sides – from loving daughter and torture victim to a killer – with great skill. Being on stage for 90 minutes without a break and betraying such a range of emotions must be exhausting.
As an audience member I was emotionally drained, wrestling with the many moral questions the play raises.
Blonde Poison is playing at the Lawler, Southbank Theatre until June 11. For more information and tickets visit the Blonde Poison website
Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Blonde Poison as a guest of the producers.