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The Minack Theatre

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Published July 29th 2019
A theatre with a view
Perched on the cliffside above the Atlantic Ocean is this genuinely unique theatre. It is located about as far south as you can go in England and less than 5 miles from Lands End.

Built as a labour of love by the late Rowena Cade and her gardener Billy Rawlings, it was carved out of the cliffside above the ocean. Construction began in 1931 with its first performance taking place on 16th August 1932. It has gone from strength to strength over the eight decades that have followed.

Rowena continually improved the site during the winter months with the help of her gardeners. They moved granite boulders and earth up and down the steep cliffside to carve out the stage and grass terraces, creating enough seats for seven hundred and fifty people.

The Tempest by William Shakespeare was the first performance and the success of it with rave reviews in the Times newspaper helped to spur on further performances.

The first stage was covered in grass but eventually paved over along with the addition of more structures around it that create a focal point.

Many different theatre companies from around the UK and overseas have put on performances over the years and continue to do so with a full summer season running from April to September and over 20 different plays being performed, you are sure to find something to entertain you,

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View of seating terraces

Over eighty thousand people come to enjoy the performances each season. And more than one hundred thousand visitors come throughout the year to see this unique place as you can visit outwith performance times and enjoy the spectacular view out over the ocean.

While you are there, you can enjoy a drink or light meal in the café it has indoor and outdoor seating with a great view.

At the top of the cliff, you'll find an interesting exhibition centre with displays about the early life of its founder and information on the many events that have taken place over the years. There is a lot of interesting information to read and videos to watch.

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Sub-tropical garden

You can take a stroll around the sub-tropical hillside garden that sits above the seating terraces and contains a variety of colourful plants. The plants that were chosen can cope with the extremes of weather that this place experiences due to it being a coastal location.

During school holidays, they put on storytelling sessions for the kids at 10.30am and run them three days a week. The cost of the storytelling performance is included at the standard admission cost, and they recommend booking early as the sessions can fill up, especially in August.

The evening performances are individually priced, adults £14/£10 Child Under 16 £7/£4. And can be booked online, its recommended to bring warm clothes for these as it can get cold during the evening.

Getting there

Some tour companies can take you here, but most people visit by car.

If visiting by car when you put the postcode into your sat-nav, it will usually take you through some small villages.

These villages have narrow roads and tend to get blocked by caravans and trucks during the peak summer season.

The best route to follow is to go along the A30 all the way almost till you get to Lands End, then turn off and follow the brown tourist signs.

The theatre website has up to date information on the best route to take to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

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Why? Entertainment with a view
When: Main performances April to September and select days rest of year, best to check website
Phone: 44(0)1736 810181
Where: The Minack Theatre Trust CIO Porthcurno, Penzance Cornwall, TR19 6JU
Cost: Adult £5 | 15 & under £2.50 | 11 & under 50p | Under 2 FREE. Performances Adults £14/£10 Child Under 16 £7/£4
Your Comment
Very interesting article. It makes you want to go back in time and follow in the footsteps of the great writer! I think it would be a must see for a Shakespeare fan.
by trace (score: 0|2) 797 days ago
It is very interesting <3
by sancu (score: 0|2) 795 days ago
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