Indianic Pictures secures rights to the late Peter Sumners Spiderdance

Posted by on Jul 14, 2021 in Indianic Blog


Indianic Pictures has just secured the rights to the late Peter Sumners 1850’s period piece Spiderdance. The story follows the time Loal Montez spent in Melbourne Australia where she performed her infamous Spider Dance.

“This is a script we have had great interest in for some time now. Having worked with Peter on several occasions we had the utmost respect fo him. I knew it was something near and dear to his heart so to have the opportunity to make the film would be something very special” says Wiliams.

Here the writer, the late, great Peter Sumner, shares the inspiration behind the script.

I first came across her remarkable life story some years ago when I was appearing in a David Hemming’ s directed film ‘The Survivor’ in Adelaide with Robert Powell and Joseph Cotton. This was a disaster film in more ways than one! On my many days off I would potter round the antique and second-hand book stores looking for material that related to one of my interests, early Australian theatre history. 

I came across a delightful miniature oil portrait of Lola in a walnut frame, a portrait that hangs on my wall to this day. This triggered a chain of interest in her life and adventures and I soon found copies of the many biographies that had been written about her over the last hundred years. What a life of daring and scandal she had lived in Europe, America and to my amazement Australia. Few of the biographies mentioned the six months she had spent in the colonies, and even then this visit was dismissed in a line or two. 

So I began researching the newspapers in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and uncovered the extraordinary details of her tempestuous appearances in this country at a time when it was obvious her great adventures were over and her days were numbered. I was aware that a musical about her had been written and performed in the 1950’s in Australia, but this was a pastiche, and never in any sense revealed the real Lola. Further research uncovered the film made by Max Ophulus in 1954 with Martine Carol playing LoIa, but this was a surreal story that only covered her life in Europe. 

So I determined that the truth about her Australian adventure needed to be brought to light, and the result is Spider Dance.