Our History

From Perry Standing Light Opera Section to
CLOC Musical Theatre Company

In 1937 a group of people got together to form the basis of the company that is today known as Cloc Musical Theatre Company This year we celebrate our 75th anniversay!

Many changes have taken place since that first meeting in 1937, some of them voluntary, some of them forced upon us. The name has changed several times: Perry Standing Light Opera Section of Kingstanding Community Association (KCA), Light Opera Section of Circle Community Association (CCA), Circle Light Opera Company Kingstanding (C.L.O.C.K.) . The change to Circle Light Opera Company (C.L.O.C.) came about when we moved out of the community centre - where we rehearsed - to our new rehearsal venue at Old Oscott Hill, Great Barr. In 2011 it was decided to change the name to Cloc Musical Theatre Company to reflect the fact that the company perform Musicals rather than Opera and thus end the confusion of us being an opera company.

Fundraising became a very important function of the company over the years, whilst prudent spending was rigorously applied. One area which was becoming more expensive was costuming. Many of our older and ex-members will remember the Two basket skips kept in the ladies cloakroom at the Community Centre which provided the wardrobe. The Opera Commitee at the time decided it was time to improve the wardrobe situation and gather the contents of the skips and various attics into one area. Thus a furniture van became the wardrobe department and yet a second was used as a scenery / properties store. These sufficed for a few years, but as a result of the hard work of the wardrobe mistress and stage managers of the time, the space was insufficient and not easily accessible. Then a member of the company offered us a 50ft by 20ft shed as a new home for all these items. The movement of scenery and wardrobe to the shed gave us access to another source of revenue, the hire business to other opera companies and to individuals for fancy dress. This source of income steadily increased over the years and guaranteed first our survival and then our progress to other theatres. Unfortunately disaster struck in 1993, just a few weeks before our annual pantomime when the shed was burnt to the ground and with it all the costumes and props collected over the years. But the members of C.L.O.C. rallied round and went on to produce one of our best pantomimes ever at the Community Centre. But the writing was on the wall and Two years later we were to perform our last pantomime at the centre.

Over the years the company have performed at many venues; Higbury little theatre, Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, The Old Rep, and the Crescent Theatre.

As well as changing venues for our productions, our rehearsal venue has also changed over the years. After the demise of our storage shed it was decided to move to a local school for our rehearsals and then in 2002 we moved to our present home at The Maryvale Community Centre, Old Oscott Hill.

C.L.O.C. has grown over the last 75 years from a small group up to the large company that it is today. For its many members it provides fun, companionship and a chance to indulge in a little make believe - the call of the stage never seems to fade.