SHERMAN THEATRE TO RE-OPEN IN SPRING 2021 FOLLOWING AUDIO THEATRE SERIES AS PART OF AUTUMN 2020 PROG

10 Jul 2020

- To ensure its survival and ongoing sustainability the theatre will remain closed until spring 2021

- The majority of productions and performances are being re-scheduled to 2021

- Sherman Theatre will present a programme of work throughout Autumn 2020 to continue to create theatre experiences for its audiences and support theatre makers thanks to stabilisation funding from Arts Council Wales

- Heart of Cardiff, a major new autumn audio theatre series, will sit at the centre of the season

In an effort to ensure its survival and long term sustainability in the light of the situation caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, Sherman Theatre has taken the difficult decision to remain closed until Spring 2021. The majority of performances which were originally planned for Autumn 2020 have been rescheduled to take place in 2021, including the Sherman’s Christmas productions A Christmas Carol and The Elves and the Shoemaker / Y Coblynnod a’r Crydd, its production of Brad Birch’s version of An Enemy of the People and the world premiere of The Merthyr Stigmatist by Lisa Parry in a co-production with Theatre Uncut.

Sherman Theatre will contact ticketholders for all performances in Autumn 2020 imminently. Performances have been and will continue to be re-scheduled in nearly all cases including those moved from Spring 2020 when the lockdown began. At this stage the performances of Romeo and Julie by Gary Owen, a co-production with the National Theatre, are cancelled but both companies hope to stage this production when possible.

Although its doors will remain closed, Sherman Theatre will build on the foundations laid during the INTERVAL/EGWYL season. Thanks to stabilisation funding from Arts Council Wales the Sherman will continue to create exceptional theatre experiences for its audiences and nurture and support Welsh and Wales-based theatre makers through Heart of Cardiff.

The Heart of Cardiff season, a series of audio theatre experiences written by the writers of Cardiff for the people of Cardiff, will run throughout the autumn. Heart of Cardiff will see the Sherman connect with communities and areas throughout the capital to find, empower and develop writers who have a story they want to tell about their city. Sherman Theatre is now calling on the writers of Cardiff to submit pitches for the project. The project will provide paid opportunities for freelance theatre makers. Heart of Cardiff will be surrounded by a vibrant programme of events, an audience development programme and workshops.

Innovative work to connect with communities across the city and develop its young people will also expand over the course of the Autumn thanks to funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director Joe Murphy has said “It has been over three months since we have been able to welcome audiences in to the Sherman. And it is a heart-breaking decision to extend that period of closure until 2021. But the situation we face is a real and existential one. By keeping the building closed we are doing everything we can to ensure the survival of the Sherman and the Welsh theatre sector: tough decisions now will hopefully avoid having to make even harder ones in the future. Through our INTERVAL/EGWYL project I have been blown away by the resilience, creativity and compassion of our audiences, artists, stakeholders and participants. And it is with that spirit of defiance that we are launching the Heart of Cardiff Project: a love letter to our city and to the people who make it such an extraordinary place. We would not have survived the last few months without the generous donations of our audiences and communities, and the ongoing investment from our funders, particularly that of Arts Council Wales whose continued support makes our Autumn programme possible.” The Interval season, created in response to lockdown, helped Sherman Theatre to carry on providing great theatre experiences for audiences whilst supporting artists. From March 23 to the end of June, Sherman Theatre has employed over 57 freelance theatre makers: through its Time With sessions, TEN/DEG monologues and Your Platform projects, Sherman Theatre had 478 interactions with freelancers. There were over 23,000 views of its online theatre output and the Sherman interacted with 700 participants through its artist support projects and extensive Creative Engagement work. Sherman Theatre is committed to supporting freelance theatre makers as it recognises the vital importance of freelancers to the overall ecology of our industry. The Heart of Cardiff season will see this commitment continue.

For more information about the opportunities for the city’s writers for the Heart of Cardiff audio theatre season and to find out how to express interest, please visit shermantheatre.co.uk/news/sherman/call-out-for-writers-of-cardiff/. Sherman Theatre will be contacting ticketholders for re-scheduled and cancelled performances, and more information is available here: https://www.shermantheatre.co.uk/your-visit/

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