June 21, 2015

Blonde Poison_pressThe small theatre scene is alive in Sydney with the Australian Premiere of Gail Louw’s “Blonde Poison” soon to take place at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo.

Produced by Adam Liberman and starring Belinda Giblin, this remarkable one woman play is directed by Jennifer Hagan.

“Blond Poison” is a true story based on Stella Goldschlag, a Jewish woman who was living illegally in war torn Berlin, where she was betrayed and tortured. When offered the chance of saving herself and her parents from deportation to Auschwitz, Stella agreed to be a Greifer or catcher for the Gestapo, to find and betray Jews in hiding. Stella was extraordinarily successful in leading to the finding and capturing of 3000 Jews by the Nazis.

Given the choice, would you save your family and yourself from persecution or condemn others to certain death? A question of morality that challenges the audience to think, ‘what would you do’?

“Blonde Poison” is set during events when everything that humankind values was threatened and near collapse. It explores the theme of morality, that challenges right and wrong.

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.

The Gestapo, who reveled in her treachery, gave Stella the name “Blonde Poison”. Decades after the war Stella agrees to be interviewed by a well-respected journalist, hoping to obtain her last chance for redemption, but can she ever be released from her past?

Gail Louw is an internationally acclaimed playwright/writer, whose Jewish background and maternal influence has informed much of her writing, including this production. “Blonde Poison” has found great success internationally, winning an Argus Award for Artistic Excellence at the Brighton Festival and Fringe in 2012 and received excellent reviews both in the UK and in Los Angeles, where it was staged in January 2015.

The producer of “Freud’s Last Session” and co-producer of “Howie the Rookie” brings yet another thought provoking drama to Sydney and The Old Fitz. “We are thrilled to present the Australian premiere of Gail Louw’s compelling drama, a ninety minute one woman play, as part of the Old Fitz Theatre season. Under the insightful direction of Jennifer Hagan, “Blonde Poison” stars Belinda Giblin in what promises to be a career defining role for one of Australia’s most talented actresses,” said Producer Adam Liberman.

Opening on Sunday 28 July, with performances on Tuesday through to Saturday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 5pm, the season will run to 15 August 2015.

The Old Fitz Theatre which opened in 1997, has successfully survived and thrived for nearly 20 years and is one of Australia’s most intimate and magical theatre spaces.

Sandra Tiltman


June 21, 2015

Circus Rowan Thomas, 2014 NICA graduate_Photo by Julian Meehan Photography_LR

Want to run away and join the circus? The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) has put out the call for people around Australia with a dream of a professional career in performing and some background in physical training such as circus, sport, dance, physical theatre, gymnastics, acrobatics, martial arts, diving or trampoline. NICA offers Australia’s only Bachelor of Circus Arts, a three year university degree conducted at its Melbourne campus.

Entry into the Bachelor of Circus Arts is highly competitive and attracts applicants from across Australia and overseas. The course is accredited by Swinburne University and training takes place in the custom built circus facilities on its Prahran campus.

NICA will be holding pre-audition circus workshops across all Australian states during the June/July school holidays, prior to auditions for the 2016 course intake. Aspiring circus artists can register to brush up their skills before the auditions begin in September. Those with a flair for the physical and a desire for a challenge should consider attending the workshops. A background in circus is not necessary.

This year, pre-audition workshops will be held in more locations around Australia than ever before, including a number of cities not previously visited such as Byron Bay. Other workshop locations include Melbourne, Darwin, Albury, Brisbane, Fremantle, Sydney, Ulverstone, Cairns, Adelaide and Canberra.

The workshops will focus on the audition requirements for NICA’s accredited courses, including flexibility, handstands, tumbling, strength & conditioning, movement and performance.

Past graduates from NICA, who are now professional circus performers and trainers in their own right, will facilitate all workshops and will be able to answer any questions participants may have about the degree and life as a circus performer.

In Melbourne, the workshop will be held at NICA’s own state of the art facilities in Prahran over two days. On the second day of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experience a typical day of training at NICA, including engaging in aerial apparatus, manipulation and group acrobalance, however, the workshops held outside Melbourne will run for one day only.

NICA graduates have established successful careers in Australia and internationally with acclaimed companies including Circus Oz, Circa, NoFit State and Cirque du Soleil. NICA’s Executive Director Rose Stephens says, “This year, all of us at NICA are very pleased to be able to offer the pre-audition workshops to more cities around Australia than ever before. As Australia’s National Circus Institute, we want to attract the very best potential talent from around Australia regardless of background or experience. These pre-audition workshops will help us to do that by going out into communities across Australia and giving prospective students the opportunity to hone their skills with our circus professionals.”

Sandra Tiltman