Review by Samuel Elliott

There is an ostensibly casual line, uttered early on in Blonde Poison, by its single character, Stella Goldschlag. She expresses incense at having something stuck in her teeth, unable to be dislodged, forever there and unavoidable. It would be easy to draw from that line that she is really talking about the indelible mark left on her from her ill-fated youth, from her lapsing or perhaps begrudging Jewish faith, from being identified as such during the Nazi oppression, or even from the lasting horrific consequences of what she needed to do in order to survive such hellish times.

From the outset we are introduced to a talkative, definitely prim (though with a propensity to insert the odd sexual comment) Stella, there is something amiss, teeming under the surface and yearning to be told, to be confessed. Belinda Giblin, who plays Stella, wholly gives herself to the character, earnestly conveying all her eccentricities, her untold miseries, from beginning to end in a superb and stunning performance. The character is not an easy one, much like real-life human counterparts, and as such has times of melancholy, of remorse, of shame, even the sporadic moment of joy and humour unrestrained. The play passes the first test – that of having the audience react accordingly as is meant, chuckling with the risqué lines, sitting in stunned silence during the regular moments of devastating pathos, recoiling at the play’s defining torture scene.

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