Skip to main content

Sherman Theatre


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 façade, major reconfigurations of the front of house and backstage spaces, a new rehearsal room, and reseating in both auditoria.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1973 : continuing
Current state
Current use
Senghennydd Road, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF24 4YE, Wales
Further details
Other names
Sherman Cymru
  • 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.
  • Capacity
  • Capacity
    2002: 468 main house; c.163 arena studio
  • Capacity
    468; Arena 143-163
  • Listing
    Not listed
Stage type
Main: pros Arena: in-the-round
Building 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
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: Can seat about 30