IT’S all systems go as Echuca-Moama Theatre Company begins the countdown to its biggest show yet.
The Phantom of the Opera will open at the Paramount in just over three weeks, where 12 shows will be performed to an audience of thousands.
The company will bump into the Paramount on Monday, where the crew will begin the time-consuming task of moving in the huge sets, scaffolding, props and costumes, as well as rigging, installing the chandelier, pyrotechnics, new lights and sound system.
It is a huge effort, but one EMTC is ready for, according to co-director John Wright.
‘‘We need all this time to prepare,’’ he said.
‘‘What needs to go to the theatre is equivalent to three to four 20-foot containers. There’s also another container to set up the front of the theatre and sound system.
‘‘There will be rigging done to the front of the stage which will be covered by a French facade which houses the speaker system and box five and box six.
‘‘We have sourced structural engineers from Melbourne to build the structure to hold the chandelier so we will be getting a forklift in to do that.’’
And then there is transporting the 500 or so costumes.
‘‘We have almost 50 in the cast and most of them change at least three to four times during the show,’’ Mr Wright said.
The cast will then have six rehearsals on stage to perfect the show before opening night on May 25.
Which, according to Mr Wright, is a crucial time for cast members to work on their characterisation and those important little details.
‘‘It’s absolutely imperative to get those extra one to two percenters,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s about creating real quality. If we do the little things, that will make the bigger things better.
‘‘The effort and focus, energy and attention to detail to make it special will take a lot.’’
But Mr Wright is confident his team can do it.
‘‘Everything seems to come together in these last few weeks,’’ he said.
More than 1100 tickets have been sold, so people are being urged to get in quick to avoid disappointment.
‘‘We want the audience to experience that physical feeling where they leave feeling ‘that was wonderful, different, enticing, confronting, all of that’,’’ Mr Wright said.
‘‘It will be an experience they’ll never get in another musical.’’
■Performances will be held from May 25 to June 9 and tickets are available at the Paramount.