PHANTOM NEEDS A BUILDER: Daniel de Clercq, along with the rest of the Nelson Youth Theatre Company, is calling on local builders to help them build the set for their upcoming production, Phantom of the Opera at the Theatre Royal. The shows will run from April 8-21. Photo: Kate Russell.

Phantom calls on builders

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A big show for a little theatre needs some helping hands – building hands, that is.

The Nelson Youth Theatre Company is bringing The Phantom of the Opera to Nelson for the first time ever this April – and while they’ve got the acting and singing sorted, they need a help with some other “staging challenges”.

“We are calling on any current or retired builders to give us a hand on a couple of projects we need to complete for the production,” says the show’s director Richard Carruthers.

This includes building two ‘portable’ royal boxes into the theatre auditorium on either side of the stage, devise means for candles to float out of a mist in the phantom’s lair, a boat to flow seamlessly across the stage, and numerous other magical devices that are outside their “normal range of staging expertise”.

Richard says that other sets that have been used around the country are too big to fit into the Theatre Royal.

“It’s the first time the show has ever been performed here, and all those magical moments that everyone’s seen in the big Broadway or West End versions of the show have to somehow be transposed into our little theatre.

“We’d love to hear from anyone who can volunteer their time for couple of weekends – maybe two or three Saturdays. They’ll have the thrill of being able to say ‘we built that’, and free tickets to the show, of course.”

The classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House.

The Phantom of the Opera is on at the Theatre Royal from 8-21 April with tickets from the theatre or TicketDirect.

To volunteer your building services, email Richard at nelsonytc@gmail.com