Originally written in 1935, Double Error was a popular play by J Lee Thompson. In 1942 the play was revised and given a new title ‘Murder without Crime’ and would be a popular play in London and Broadway during the war. It was not only in the biggest theatrelands of the world that this play was performed however, and today we have a poster from a production of the play at the Royal Engineers Theatre in Gibraltar:
The dates on the poster allow us to pinpoint the year to 1945. The ranks of the players suggest that they all come from the Royal Air Force and this suggests the production was an amateur one with cast and crew drawn form those stationed on the rock. The play was an ideal one to perform as it was a tense thriller, but only had a cast of four. It was made into a film in 1950, following very closely the original play and the following synopsis for the film equally applies to the play that would have been performed in the theatre on Gibraltar:
Following a bitter row, writer Stephen Holt walks out on his wife Jan and goes to drown his sorrows at a nightclub. A drunken Steve ends up returning home with the club’s wily hostess, Grena. Just then Jan calls, and announces she is returning that night to the flat. Steve attempts to get rid of Grena, but a fight ensues and he believes he has killed her. He quickly hides her body in an ottoman. Downstairs, the suave and sinister landlord Matthew hears the disturbance and goes to investigate.
Matthew suspects the edgy Steve is hiding something, and during the night continually taunts his tenant. Stephen eventually confesses, but rather than calling for the police the landlord blackmails his tenant for an extortionate rent, and reveals his long-held affection for his tenant’s wife.