Thursday 20th & Friday 21st February
by Gail Louw
This stunning and highly-acclaimed play is based on the true story of a Jewish woman during World War II who betrayed up to 3,000 of her fellow Jews.
Stella Goldschlag was living illegally in war-torn Berlin when she herself was captured and tortured by the Nazis. When offered the chance of saving herself and her parents from the death camps, she agreed to be a ‘Greifer’ (a ‘catcher’) for the Gestapo and inform on ‘U-boats’ – Jews hiding in Berlin, trying to pass themselves off as non-Jews, as Stella herself had done. Due to her strikingly Aryan appearance, she was extraordinarily successful in this, using her charm and promiscuity to betray almost 3,000 of her fellow Jews.
The vast dimensions of Stella’s character range from tortured victim to cruel killer, from loving daughter to betrayer of friends, from gentle lover to depraved promiscuity. She was given the name ‘Blonde Poison’ by the Gestapo who revelled in her treachery.
In this startlingly powerful play, decades after the war Stella agrees to be interviewed by a well-respected journalist – her last chance for redemption. Can she ever be released from her past…?
***** “Gail Louw has written, without doubt, one of the finest pieces of solo theatre ever to have been performed … a superb, thought-provoking, solo performance from an actress who is the most amazing storyteller”WhatsOnStage
Stella is played by Elisabeth Counsell. She has played many classical roles in the theatre including Shaw’s St. Joan and Lady Macbeth, opposite Michael Gambon, and was Michael Redgrave’s leading lady in Shakespeare’s People. Elisabeth recently featured in the film Song For Marion with Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp.
BLONDE POISON is at the Ustinov Studio on Thursday 20th & Friday 21st February. Tickets are on sale now from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844, or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk/