Journey to a strange new world – Phantom of the Opera’s World Amateur Premiere in Melbourne

Phantom Of The Opera presented by CLOC
The Phantom of the Opera presented by CLOC
Left to right: Laura Slavin (Christine), Toby Truscott (The Phantom)

In March 2012 The Really Useful Group released the amateur production rights to one of the world’s most well known and loved musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

Melbourne’s award winning CLOC Musical Theatre secured the rights for the World Amateur premiere and this month will be launching its 2013 season with this epic masterpiece.

When CLOC production of Phantom Of The Opera opens on May 10, all eyes will be on the company to see how they have managed to recreate the many famous and memorable moments in the show, with a fraction of the budget and facilities of a professional company.

CLOC’s production team, led by Set Designer Brenton Staples and Costume Designer Nerissa Saville, have toiled for nearly twelve months to achieve director Chris Bradtke’s vision, and they are confident that audiences will embrace their achievements.

“This is the most challenging, exciting and overwhelming production I have ever been involved with, but definitely also the most rewarding”, says Nerissa, who previously designed last year’s production of Sunset Boulevard for CLOC.

Drawing Carlotta in Hannibal
A sketch of one of Prima Donna Carlotta Giudecelli’s costumes

Nerissa has especially faced the challenge of costuming the cast of 33 in a total of almost 200 costumes, over 50 wigs and 30 hats, covering four eras across three countries.

Blessed with CLOC’s ever loyal sewing team, consisting of 28 women working every weekend to sew the myriad of frocks, undergarments, bustles, coats, jackets, waistcoats, pants, crinolines, petticoats and accoutrements required.

“The sewing team has been amazing and they have risen to the challenge to produce some amazing costumes.”

Phantom promises to be one of CLOC’s biggest and most complex productions ever, a challenge that all involved are relishing.  Audiences can expect a night of riveting theatrical magic with spectacular sights and sounds; a memorable spine-tingling night at the theatre.

Phantom of the Opera runs from May 10-25 at the National Theatre in St Kilda for twelve performances only, including a special Mother’s Day matinee on Sunday May 12.

Tickets are available by calling 1300 362 547, or you can book online at

Friday May 10- Saturday May 25, 2013
Matinees: Sunday May 12
Saturday May 19

Times: Evenings at 8pm, Matinees 2pm

Location: The National Theatre, St Kilda

Ticket Prices:
Adults $50, Concession $45,
Groups (15+) $45, Children $35

Ph: 1300 362 547
Online at

CLOC on Facebook at

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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