Person - Leon Sherman

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LEON SHERMAN

John and Leon Sherman were Jewish brothers from Melbourne where their uncle was a fur cutter, and they both became furriers. In 1938 Leon turned up at Sydney NT on opening night to see his brother in The Brave and the Blind, was grabbed and put behind a spotlight and told to operate it. As a backstage worker on Aristocrats Leon suggested getting a stuffed Polar bear from a museum after Jack Fegan threatened to punch one of the gay scene designers and both stormed out. A wintry Baltic Sea landscape had to be hurriedly created. (In the end painted flats were substituted and the 25-scene four-act Russian play included at least 23 laborious changes of set.)

In 1939 Leon and Freda Lewis were fined for distributing NTL handbills. Leon acted in Plant in the Sun 1939, was on committee as stage manager in 1940, acted with his brother in Renegade 1940, and in 1941 was in revivals of Waiting for Lefty and Private Hicks.

During the Second World War he was in the army after which he rejoined NT. He acted in Sons of the South 1947, The Candy Store 1952, Under the Coolibah Tree 1956, Black Diamonds 1958, Our 'Dear' Relations 1963, A Penny for a Song 1965, Mother Courage 1966, The Good Soldier Schweik 1967, Postmark Zero 1968 and Reedy River 1969. He stage managed The Star Turns Red 1948, The Dangerous Sex 1948 (also lighting designer), The Lion on the Square 1949, Birthday of a Miner 1949, The Germans 1952 and Reedy River 1953.

Of interest to ASIO, Leon was NT President ca 1949-53, his successor Graeme Stewart. He donated a water mole fur collar for a NT raffle in 1958. A Life Member by 1966, he became a Vice President of New Theatre Properties.

He was best man at Marie and John Armstrong’s wedding. Marie became the godmother of Leon's daughter Linda who played in The Bushranger in 1969 and who joined NT in 1973.

Leon met his wife Jane when she was on Front of House duty at NT. She acted, worked on committee and was responsible for classes at Castlereagh Street. Jane Sherman died suddenly on 16 January 1978.



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