World Theatre Day

27 Mar 2020

For World Theatre Day we asked members of the Sherman team to reflect on the past and to look to the future.

 

Joe Murphy, Artistic Director / Cyfrwyddwr Artistig

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

I think my favourite moment was a day in late November last year. We had about 500 kids moving through the theatre, many of them seeing their first play ever. We had emerging companies in our rehearsal spaces developing work. And we had a buzzing cafe/bar space full of people meeting, eating and working. It just felt like what theatre should be all about: people coming together and feeding off that community spirit.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

Got to be seeing Mark Rylance in Jerusalem. Just blew me away. A stunning performance of a stunning script in a stunning production. Magic. My friend enjoyed it so much he involuntarily got to his feet at the end and just made noise at the actors. Not words. Just noise. That’s how awesome theatre can be.

Why theatre?

I was a lonely kid and when I found Theatre I found my tribe. Simple as that. It’s about family.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Can I say the hot chocolate!? Probably not. It’s being in a room together again with our artists, our team, our participants and our audiences. Can’t wait for that moment when we all sit down together, the lights dim, and some magic happens. That, and the hot chocolate of course.

 

Claire Bottomley, Sherman 5 Coordinator / Cydlynydd Sherman 5

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

I went to see Love, Cardiff: City Road Stories in 2017, when I was a MA Arts Management student (and a Sherman 5 volunteer!) I laughed, I cried, I sighed, and I came out committed to being involved in bringing true, gritty, funny, sad and very personal stories to the stage, and supporting people to be able to enjoy, understand and relate to the many forms of theatre.

I also saw Mags - it broke me! That theatre can elicit such strong emotions, connection and empathy is an often underestimated power. The acting was outstanding.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

I think that Sinners Club at The Other Room was possibly my first experience of a rich and deep theatre experience in a tiny room. It was immersive, intense, impressive, entertaining, dark and inspired theatre. I recommended it to friends who still talk about it. Lucy Rivers is so talented! It was also the first performance that I'd seen at The Other Room, and I was later fortunate to have been able to have worked there for a year as their Associate Producer.

Why theatre?

It's a fleeting moment, if you miss a show, you can't catch up by reloading, rewinding, downloading. It's immediate, magical, challenging, soothing, entertaining. Theatre offers so many ways of artistic and emotional expression, sharing, informing and at times provoking response / discourse. I have un-ending respect and admiration for the creative teams; their vision, talent and dedication to the art form is inspiring.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Being in the busy foyer and café bar moments before a new show goes up.. ..walking through the crowd and soaking up the excitement and anticipation, catching snippets of proud pre-show conversations as I pass and knowing how vital this connection and sharing is to the human spirit.

 

Corey Bullock, Artistic Administrator & Executive Assistant / Gweinyddwr Artistig a Chynorthwy-ydd Gweithredol

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

From a production point of view I'd either have to say Woof by Elgan Rhys, brilliantly directed by Gethin Evans. Not a lot of theatre makes such a raw emotional impact which that piece did. Or "The Baby Goes" song from Alice in Wonderland. Hearing audiences singing it through the interval just reflected what a captivating show it was and that song is still so catchy and brilliantly funny.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

Watching Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land.

Why theatre?

Because it's always brought me joy. Whether watching it, performing it (in younger days) or being a part of producing it.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Seeing all my colleagues and friends again. Of course we can't wait to welcome audiences and artists back in the building, but it will be great to get Team Sherman back together again.

 

Rachel Mortimer, Senior Electrician / Prif Drydanwr

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

Well it has to be Iphigenia in Splott, so many moments throughout the whole process, when Sophie blew us away at the first read through, the first week of shows in Sherman, when it became clear we had something very special, taking it on tour through the UK, to Edinburgh, London, New York and Berlin, the way it touched people everywhere we went.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

Seeing Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, You Will Be Found brought me and most of the audience to tears, followed by a standing ovation, at the interval. If I can have visiting company moment too, I'd like to say when Motionhouse performed Broken, at the Sherman, that was the most incredible show I have seen on tour with us. Seamlessly integrated dance, movement and projection, it literally took my breath away.

Why theatre?

No two days are the same, it's constantly challenging, but then we get the reward of seeing the audiences appreciate what we have worked so hard on.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Working with all my colleagues again, especially our amazing production team, the first show will be very special I expect, getting an audience back in and presenting something (whatever that is!).

 

Mandy Ivory-Castile, Head of Production and Planning / Pennaeth Cynhyrchu a Chynllunio

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

I think it has to be Hedda Gabler. Transforming the Main Stage into this beautiful bleak setting with the Steel Cage ominously above the stage. The moment in the play when the fire was burning, the black confetti was falling and the fans were swirling the whole image, then Hedda closes the fire pit lid and everything goes black was so powerful.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

There really are so many moments over a lifetime working in theatre. There are a handful of shows that I have worked on that have stayed with me. They feel strong like a beating pulse inside me. But other than the shows I worked on I would say one of my favourite memories is working as Crew in Pleasance Two at the Edinburgh Festival. I watched every performance of a play called The Salt Wound by 7:84 a Glasgow based Theatre Company over the month of August that year. The Salt Wound made me cry every single day of that festival. It made me feel so emotional, I have never forgotten that play. It was 1994.

Why theatre?

Theatre feeds your soul. It makes you feel. It’s visceral.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Telling and making stories. Sharing the experience with friends and colleagues and welcoming our audiences back.

 

Timothy Howe, Creative Engagement Manager / Rheolwr Ymgysylltu Creadigol

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

I adore all of our under 7s Christmas show. Sitting in the auditorium as the lights go down and experiencing with those young children the first rush of theatrical magic. It always takes me back to my first experience of theatre. Many of them have never been to a theatre before and it connects with them in a way no other art form can copy. Their joy and amazement is both genuine and pure. It never fails to make me smile.

Also, watching young people having their playwriting work performed by professional actors always inspires me to do more of this. We are very lucky at Sherman to have had a series of successful playwriting schemes, such as Fresh Ink, Primary Expressions and more recently Introduction To Playwriting that place the voice of young storytellers at their heart. These young people have their work validated by our professionals and grow in their creative writing abilities as well as their artistic confidence. Seeing these participants grow makes me so incredibly proud and privileged to work in theatre and be in a position to share it so readily with others.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

Burnt By The Sun at the National Theatre was one of the most incredible theatrical experiences of my life. Everything from the scenic design to the acting was just brilliant. I’m a big Chekhov fan and to see a more contemporary work that wasn’t afraid to have his characteristic slow burn happening was just affirming to me as theatre maker.

Why theatre?

Because it’s not just about what’s on the stage, it’s about the transformative power of the art form. Be that in a classroom, a workshop or on the street. It moves beyond the walls of a venue and empowers people to speak; it validates opinions.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Connecting with people. Our audiences, our casts and crews, the Sherman Team but most importantly the young people who bring so much life to the Creative Engagement programming.

 

Vanessa Williams, Sales & Insight Manager / Rheolwr Gwerthu a Mewnwelediad

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

So many to choose from, but watching the final performance of Woof will always be one of my greatest memories. A truly special production.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

Bruce Forsyth brought his show to the New Theatre. He was a true entertainer and the loveliest man. I rarely get star struck and never ask for autographs, but I made an exception for him because he was what Saturday nights were about when I was growing up.

Why theatre?

Because it’s real, you live it in that moment and then it’s gone. You get to experience something unique with an audience made up of people that you’ll never see again. Mind blowing when you think about it.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Seeing it full of life again with staff, audiences and creativity, and halloumi fries from the Cafe Bar.

 

Andrew Lovell, House Manager / Rheolwr Tŷ

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

Christmas is my favourite time of year in Theatreland. The atmosphere in the building is wonderful at this time and the whole Sherman team pitch in to make it a memorable time for families, some of whom are attending for the first time and just beginning their (hopefully) life-long relationship with the theatre. In terms of productions, Iphigenia in Splott and Killology both by Gary Owen, were remarkable pieces of work for a variety of reasons. I thought our verbatim community piece, City Road Stories, was extraordinary.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

Working in the industry we get a bit blasé about the shows we experience, but seeing Imelda Staunton in Gypsy was a definite high point along with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which has completely revolutionised stage 'magic' and what can be done live on stage.

Why theatre?

It happens live, in front of you - no retakes, no second chances. Seeing stories being told in front of your eyes, for your entertainment is something we are very lucky to be able to experience. Whether the stories are large scale and fantastical or a very personal piece in a studio space, theatre done well is more visceral an experience than books, film or music can ever hope to be - that's not to say these art forms are not equally effective in other ways.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

Getting back to the venue, re-uniting with friends and welcoming audiences to share our new season which was shaping up to be a belter.

 

Aled Wyn Thomas, Deputy House Manager / Dirprwy Reolwr Tŷ

What has been your favourite Sherman moment so far?

Being on duty for On Bear Ridge was a definite highlight. It made me immensely proud to be a part of the team, feeling the buzz in the foyer and seeing the emotional impact the show had on audiences every night.

What is your favourite theatre moment beyond Sherman Theatre?

I think City of the Unexpected, the Roald Dahl centenary event, brought Cardiff together in a way that I'd never experienced before. Again, it was a proud moment for me in a professional sense, but also as an audience member I felt truly captivated by the sense the wonderment. It felt like the whole city was under a spell for that one weekend.

Why theatre?

Because of its power to remind us we're all human beings with silly, fragile emotions.

What do you look forward to the most when Sherman Theatre is open once again?

I hope people will still want to come through the doors; I hope people will still want to laugh and cry and be moved and I hope that the unwavering spirit of Sherman Theatre will prevail.

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