Double Indemnity

MTC Double IndemnityOne of the greatest crime novels of our times is given new life thanks to a razor-sharp stage adaptation by award-winning writer Tom Holloway, Double Indemnity will make its world premiere at Arts Centre Melbourne on Friday 3 June 2016.

Insurance agent Walter Huff has nosed around the business long enough to smell a scam, so when he meets Phyllis Nirdlinger to talk about her husband’s insurance coverage he gets a perfumed whiff of trouble. But she has a persuasive way of putting things. Can’t a wife fix a little security for herself? After all, a beloved husband can suffer a fatal accident just as easily as an honest guy can fall hard for a dame who’s no good.

Featuring a stellar cast led by Claire van der Boom (Sisters of War) and Leon Ford (Private Lives), accompanied byJessica Tovey (Wonderland), Richard Piper (Ghosts), Peter Kowitz (The Weir), Edwina Samuels (Wentworth), Lachlan Woods (North by Northwest), and under the expert direction of Sam Strong, Double Indemnity is the undoubted masterpiece of James M Cain’s sensational thrillers of the thirties and forties, with its pitch-perfect dialogue, ultimate femme fatale and the almost perfect crime.

“Some of my most cherished theatrical experiences have been collaborating with Tom Holloway as writer and director, so I’m delighted to be bringing one of our mutual favourite stories to life for Melbourne audiences,” said Director Sam Strong. “Tom’s adaptation of James M Cain’s classic novel captures the crackingly sharp dialogue and the evocative Californian Noir setting.”

“But Tom has also added a layer of psychological complexity to the galloping edge-of-your-seat plot. This version of Double Indemnity will be a morality tale for an immoral age – a play that thrillingly dissects just how far we will go to get what we want. Devious, dangerous, compelling and sexy, the characters of Double Indemnity are a treat for actors and audiences alike.”

Tom Holloway is a multi-award-winning playwright whose work has been staged extensively both in Australia and Europe. His plays include Dead Centre, Beyond The Neck, Red Sky Morning, Don’t Say The Words, Love Me Tender, And No More Shall We Part, Fatherland, and Faces Look Ugly.

He wrote the libretto for Make No Noise – an adaptation of the film The Secret Life of Words, produced by the Bavarian State Opera at the 2011 Munich Opera Festival, and collaborated with Matthew Lutton on a staging of Schubert’s Die Winterreise for ThinIce, Malthouse Theatre and the Brisbane International Festival the same year.

“Film noir is the most intoxicating of Hollywood cocktails, and none is more potent than Double Indemnity.” – The Telegraph (UK)

Director: Sam Strong Featuring: Claire van der Boom, Leon Ford, Peter Kowitz, Richard Piper, Edwina Samuels, Jessica Tovey, Lachlan Woods Set Designer: Andrew Bailey Costume Designer: Esther Marie Hayes Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson Composer: Kelly Ryall Voice & Dialect Coach: Leith McPherson Assistant Director: Stephen Nicolazzo

Double Indemnity
Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 3 June – 2 July 2016 (previews: 31 May – 2 June)
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of MTC