29 Sep 2017

Sherman Theatre believes that everyone should be able to enjoy the stimulating, challenging and entertaining experience of theatre. We are dedicated to providing access to great theatre for all and do this through a wide range of innovative initiatives coupled with a uniquely welcoming attitude. We are therefore delighted to have been recognised for our work in ensuring we connect with diverse audiences with a nomination for the 2017 UK Theatre Awards in the Promotion of Diversity category.

Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan has said “I am delighted that Sherman Theatre has been recognised in this category. As an artistic director, there can be no more valuable work than that which strives to make theatre more accessible. I am so proud of all the extraordinary team at the Sherman, and of our audiences who constantly demonstrate their commitment to their local theatre. As the Sherman continues to grow in ambition, the promotion of diversity will remain at the heart of everything we do.”

Sherman Theatre’s Sherman 5 project, which is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, is at the heart of the company’s work to generate diverse audiences. Sherman 5 gives people who face barriers and/or disadvantage and who have never attended a performance at the theatre the chance to do so. Sherman 5 is open to residents of existing or former Communities First areas across South Wales as well as community groups who represent people who face barriers. The scheme ensures that our performances are fully accessible to members. Members of Sherman 5 receive free tickets for their first visit to the theatre and pay just £5 per ticket (£2.50 for Under 25s) for their subsequent visits. Free transport to and from the theatre is also provided if needed. The Sherman 5 team is also present at selected performances to provide support for members who require it. Sherman 5 members can also deepen their relationship with Sherman Theatre by volunteering as a Sherman 5 Rep. Reps receive Spice Time Credits in return for the time they spend as a volunteer. Sherman Theatre and Spice Time Credits have forged a strong relationship over the life of the project. Time Credits strengthen and build communities by engaging those who may not normally get very involved in their local area, as well as by encouraging people to be involved in different ways in order to add a new dimension to their lives (and the community).

Sherman 5 members have had this to say about the project: “Being a member is a great opportunity for families and different cultures and ethnicities to access the arts.” Asha Singh “I’m privileged to be part of the Sherman 5 family.” Tahmeena Zamruz

The scheme currently has 3,000 individual members who had not previously attended performances or accessed cultural provision at Sherman Theatre. Sherman 5 is also working with 60 groups who support those face disadvantage or barriers including the RNIB, young carers, refugee and groups and Action on Hearing Loss. From September 2016 – August 2017 Sherman 5 supported 4,000 individual attendances at Sherman Theatre. Over the lifetime of the project Sherman 5 has supported over 8,600 individual attendances. The success of Sherman 5 is due to the commitment of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to support the initiative over a 5 year period from 2013 to 2018.

The winner of the UK Theatre Award for the Promotion of Diversity will be announced in London on Sunday 15 October.

If you are interested in becoming a member contact Guy O’Donnell on 029 2064 6982 / 07703 729 079 or email


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