The Theatres Trust

Sherman Theatre

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Dates of use
    • 1973: continuing
  • Current state
  • Current use
  • Address
    Senghennydd Road, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF24 4YE, Wales
  • Website


Built on the University College campus as a twin auditorium house, with substantial financial support from the University. Externally a red brick building having the appearance of being made up of three box-like elements with the tallest on the left, and the lowest in the centre. Modifications have taken place to the entry which has a large arched window over and is flanked by two ‘sentry box’ structures in bronze and glass. Internally the main house has a single rake of sixteen rows facing the unstressed proscenium stage. There is a grid of 34 single purchase counterweight lines. The get-in is 7ft above street level with room for only one truck at a time. The Arena Studio is an octagonal auditorium built within a square box with a permanent balcony, designed with flexible seating for theatre-in-the-round. In July 1987 University College Cardiff withdrew its financial support for the theatre and offered it for sale. The Welsh Arts Council purchased the building with a special grant from the Welsh Office and for a time there were problems with revenue funding. In 2007 the Sherman Theatre and Sgript Cymru joined forces and became Sherman Cymru, a theatre devoted to producing and presenting both English and Welsh language works. In 2009 Arts Council Wales awarded £4.6m in Lottery funding as a major part of the Sherman's £6.5m refurbishment project. Completed in February 2012, the theatre reopened with a new façe, major reconfigurations of the front of house and backstage spaces, a new rehearsal room, and reseating in both auditoria.

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Façade of The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, 1995
© Theatres Trust

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  • Other names
    Sherman Cymru
  • Events
    • 1973 Use: continuing
    • 1973 Design/Construction:
      • Alex Gordon & Partners - Architect
    • 1973 Owner/Management: Drama Dept of University College of S Wales & Monmouthshire
    • 1987 Owner/Management: Welsh Arts Council
    • 1994 Alteration: backstage refurbishment
      • Lawray Partnership - Architect
    • 2012 Alteration: Re-opened after completion of a £6.5m refurbishment project.
  • Capacities
    • Original: 498
    • Later: 2002: 468 main house; c.163 arena studio
    • Current: 468; Arena 143-163
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed
  • Stage type
    • Main: pros Arena: in-the-round
  • Dimensions
    • Stage dimensions: d 13.5m (35ft) wSL 40ft wSR: 40ft apron 2.97m
    • Proscenium width: 11.5m x 5.5m (38ft)
    • Height to grid: Main: 48ft Arena: 5.49m
    • Orchestra pit: Can seat about 30

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