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Sherman to shut for 18 months' transformation.

SHERMAN Cymru will close its doors tonight for 18 months as work begins on a major refurbishment.

The Cardiff venue has received a pounds 3.9m grant from the Arts Council of Wales for the facelift, which will modernise the public areas and refurbish backstage areas of the Sherman.

But a further pounds 1.5m towards the costs needs to be raised through a public campaign.

The front-of-house area will be revamped and there will also be new seating, heating and ventilation systems as well as improvements to accessibility in all areas of the building.

The building is being designed by Jonathan Adams at Capita Architecture, who also designed theWales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

The Sherman building was opened in 1973 as part of University College Cardiff, built through a donation from the Harry and Abe Sherman Foundation. It was bought by the Arts Council in Great Britain in the late 1980s and leased to Sherman Theatre Limited, with ownership transferred to the Arts Council of Wales in 1993 when ACGB disbanded.

In 2007 the Sherman Theatre Company and new writing company Sgript Cymru merged to create Sherman Cymru.

The only producing theatre in South Wales, Sherman Cymru produces several new productions a year, most notably the award-winning Deep Cut in 2008, a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Its last production in the old-look building is Gary Owen's adaptation of A Christmas Carol. The final two performances take place today at 2pm and 7pm. Sherman Cymru will continue producing work in the next 18 months, to be staged at other venues and locations.

Impressions of what the theatre will look like and details of the fundraising campaign, with Cardiff-born actor Matthew Rhys as a patron, are now available at www.shermancymru.co.uk

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LAST PRODUCTION: Mark Frost as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 9, 2010
Words:308
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