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The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

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The Minack Theatre

Age group: 7+

Location: WEST Cornwall

 

Contact: nr, Penzance, TR19 6JU

TEL: 01736 810181

Website

Cornwall's very own theatre under the stars! Another simply spectacular setting in west Cornwall, overlooking the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

 

The Minack Theatre is the most famous open-air theatre in Britain, even possibly in the world, and from above it looks as though some wandering Greeks had carved a theatre into the granite cliffs of Porthcurno. In fact, it was just under eighty years ago that there was nothing there at all except a sloping gully of gorse and heather and below that, the crashing sea's.

 

The Minack Theatre, visitor centre and coffee shop are actually private property, once belonged to Rowena Cade. Rowena moved to Cornwall after the First World War and built a house for herself and her mother on land at Minack Point. In 1929, a local village group of players had staged Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in a nearby meadow at Crean, Miss Cade offered the garden of her house as a suitable location instead, as it was beside the sea (as the next play was to be The Tempest see!).

 

Miss Cade and her gardener made a terrace with rough seating, hauling materials down from the house or up via the winding path from the beach below. The Tempest was performed to great success and Miss Cade resolved to improve the 'theatre', working over the course of the winter months each year throughout her entire life (with the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove too me dears) so that others might perform each and every summer.

 

In 1976 it was placed in the hands of a specially formed Charitable Trust, of which Miss Cade was the senior trustee. Much of Rowena's life had been dedicated to creating this "beloved theatre"  of hers and she continued to take an active interest in its progress until her death in 1983.

 

The season runs each year from May to September.

Penzance 9 miles, St Ives 18 miles, Camborne 24 miles