Sunset Boulevard prepares for its close up, Melbourne

Maureen Andrew as Norma Desmond - Sunset Boulevard (CLOC)
Maureen Andrew as Norma Desmond. Image by Richard Crompton

Award winning CLOC Musical Theatre is preparing to launch its 2012 season with the non‑professional premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. It’s quite a coup for CLOC, being the first non-professional company to score the Australasian rights to the show, and also securing professional actress Maureen Andrew to play the lead role of Norma Desmond, the faded silent movie star.

Maureen has appeared on stage and television many times, including ongoing appearances in Neighbours, and roles in professional stagings of  Billy Elliot, The Boy from Oz (with Hugh Jackman), Saturday Night Fever, Grease (the touring arena spectacular), Cabaret (with Lisa McCune) and as an original cast member of Hair in 1971!

Maureen is thrilled to be playing the larger-than-life character of Norma Desmond. “This part is every actress’ dream, playing a character who is so commanding yet pitiful at the same time,” she said.

“And to also have the chance to sing the glorious Andrew Lloyd Webber score is an extra bonus, as I think he wrote lush, rich and beautiful music which captures the 1950’s era and the Hollywood setting perfectly. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity and to work with a company with such high artistic and technical standards, which this show requires”.

Sunset Boulevard Production Team: Nerissa Saville, Andy McCalman, Chris Bradtke,  James Rooney, Brenton Staples
Sunset Boulevard Production Team display their set model: Nerissa Saville, Andy McCalman, Chris Bradtke, James Rooney and Brenton Staples. Image by Richard Crompton

CLOC have been intensively working full-time for three months to construct faded movie star Norma Desmond’s grand and opulent mansion, and recreating other well known Hollywood icons, including Schwab’s Drug Store, Paramount Studios and the instantly recognizable Paramount Pictures gates. CLOC’s costume department has been busy too; designing, sewing and fitting the cast of 26 with more than 250 costumes, recreating a true Hollywood feel of 1950. Ensuring authenticity, a dedicated group of 12 women has met every Saturday to bring to life the creations of costume designer Nerissa Saville (pictured, left).

Karen Greenwood, spokesperson for CLOC told AussieTheatre last night that seeing magnificent set and wonderful cast in action was a spectacle indeed.

“Am just back from dress rehearsal – it is looking magnificent. Worth seeing just to see the set, which is amazing!”, she enthused.

AussieTheatre is running a giveaway to win tickets to see Sunset Boulevard – enter competition here

Sunset Boulevard runs from May 4 – 19 at the National Theatre in St Kilda for twelve performances, including a special Mother’s Day matinee on Sunday May 13, in which all members of the audience will receive a gift of appreciation from CLOC.

Tickets can be purchased by phoning 1300 362 547, or you can book online at



Andrew “Drew” Lane was born in Melbourne, and began playing piano at the age of four. At age 15, he began to write his own material, and was also introduced to musical theatre via shows such as Starlight Express, Les Miserables and Time. From that moment on, Drew was actively involved in musical theatre at a rehearsal pianist, musical director, or on stage performer. In 1992, Drew composed his first musical for high school, Back Streets, and in 1994, Drew was accepted into the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, where he honed his skills, not only as a composer, but also as a performer. Gaining valuable experience on stage and behind the scenes helped him to realise his next musical, Atlantis. A workshop production was staged for the Ballarat Opera Festival in 1996 and gained rave reviews. In the following years, Drew took up teaching but was also able to regularly composer and stage his own productions including Eva’s Wish (1997, Anacortes, WA, USA), Revelations (1998, Touring, Victoria, Australia), and Toys (1999, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia). In 2010, Drew's musical Marking Life was chosen to be part of the Festival of Broadway, hosted by the University of Tasmania, and was performed for Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). A prolific composer, Drew hopes to be able to take his musicals to Off-Broadway or the West End, and believes that his best writing is yet to come. He is presently completing his Master’s degree in Performing Arts, and has several new musicals presently in development. Drew is proud to be a regular contributor to and looks forward to hearing from all of his readers!

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