“MATA HARI, don’t blindfold my eyes” is a theatrical monologue about the life of the well-known exotic dancer Mata Hari, who was accused of espionage during the First World War and shot for this cause at 41 years old.
It focuses on the topic of using people and, more specifically, a woman, as a scapegoat for political situations and vested interests.
It’s a story of manipulation, abuse, power games and corrupt processes. Any connection with what is still happening in the World a century later is mere chance.
It’s also the second theatrical project that Carmen Toledo writes and directs in Amsterdam.
The first was THE RED BOX, a performance about the visibility and empowerment of prostitutes throughout History, thus continuing with the theme of Women through the centuries, based on real characters.
Women must stop being anecdotal to be historical.
This play seeks to shed a little light on this process that has been going on for centuries and is still not over.
A woman’s voice must be heard
Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was born in the city of Leeuwarden, province of Friesland, The Netherlands, on August 7, 1876.
Performing brahmanical and oriental dances she triumphed throughout Europe as an exotic dancer. The fame of her performances and the mystery that she managed to create around them, made her
interacted with many members of high society, politicians and high-level military officials, maintaining intimate relationships or romances with some of them.
But her contacts and relationships with the military and even royalty gradually makes her suspicious and begins to be watched.
On February 13, 1917, Margaretha was arrested in Paris. She was judged behind closed doors before a Martial Court on July 24, and accused of “high treason” to spy for Germany.
She was executed by a firing squad on October 15, 1917, near the Château de Vincennes, in Paris. She was 41 years old. According to an eyewitness account, British journalist Henry Wales, she refused to
wear her blindfold as she was tied to the post.
Mata Hari’s sealed trial and other related documents, a total of 1.275 pages, were declassified by the French Military in 2017, one hundred years after her execution. No evidence was found that Mata Hari
had revealed any war secrets or passed on any sensitive information.
Was she really a spy?
Who tells the truth?
Do you? The media? The governments? The corporations? Who do you work for? Do you know who your bosses really are?
Your power ends where the interests of the great media, political and business spider web begins.
As an individual you are nothing more than a fly caught in that net. You are nothing more than a voice that’s easy to silence, easy to blame.
A woman in wartime, too visible, too connected, a danger for those in power. The bullets closed her mouth, but no one managed to blindfold her eyes,
those eyes that still look into the face of injustice, throughout History.
“I don’t know if I will be remembered in the future, but if so, let no one see me as a victim but as someone who never stopped fighting bravely and paid the price she had to pay.” Mata Hari
Cristina Bolis, an Italian national, lives in Amsterdam since several years. Graduated in Architecture at the Politécnico di Milano in 2000, she worked in Lisbon, in Rio de Janeiro and for most time she has
been practicing in one of the biggest and more renowned architectural firm of the Netherland and worldwide.
She discovers passion for theatre and performing art in 2009 when she starts at the Debbie Mulholland Acting School mainly centered on the Lecoq technique and device work, via Debbie she came in
contact with Jacqueline Mc Clintock a Meisner Technique teacher very respected and acclaimed in Montreal, Toronto and NYC. After several advanced seminars with Jacqueline and a Masterclass in Rome with Anna Strasberg,
Cristina decides to take a sabbatical and enrolls at the Neighbourhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in NYC were she followed the first year of the full-time conservatory program.
Back in Amsterdam she was part of several theatre productions and video and art performances in English and Italian.
The Author & Director
Carmen is an Spanish citizen who was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. She graduated in Theatre Techniques and Theatre Direction at the Multidisciplinary School of Dramatic Art (EMAD), in Montevideo.
She trained as lighting designer, set designer and technical assistant, costume assistant, sound engineer, executive producer, production assistant, and stage assistant.
She was part of the Uruguayan National Comedy team for five years, as a stage assistant and assistant director of several productions.
After she had directed her first plays, she assumed responsibility as Cultural Manager in a cultural complex of a theatre and a museum of the Author’s Association of Uruguay.
After she lived in Madrid for fifteen years, she had moved to Amsterdam in 2018. In 2020, she premiered THE RED BOX, as writer and director, her first play written in English, with a
team of four talented actresses originally from different countries, residing in the Netherlands, performing a season of 16 performances during 2020-2021, despite the delay and intermittent closure
of theatres due to the corona pandemic.