The Minack Theatre

The History

The Minack Theatre is Cornwall’s most atmospheric outdoor theatre. The very first performance to take place here was Shakespeare’s The Tempest in 1932. The idea for the outdoor theatre was inspired by the success of a previous outdoor performance of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream held by local drama enthusiasts in a nearby field. The stage was lit with car headlights and powered via a cable run from Minack house.

Rowena Cade, the owner of Minack house, and the visionary who created the Minack theatre decided the cliffs at the end of her garden were perfect as a more permanent venue for theatre performances and set about creating the lower levels of what you see today, made out of huge boulders. Rowena Cade began work on the theatre when she was thirty-eight and continued into her mid-eighties before dying shortly before her ninetieth birthday. Minack Theatre is truly the work of a lifetime and a testament to one remarkable ladies hard work and determination. 

The first performance ever staged at the Minack Theatre was The Tempest which received wide spread publicity and ever since, has attracted a diverse pool of professional and amateur talent. 2015 saw performances from Shakespeare Globe Company with Much Ado About Nothing and the Next Stage Theatre Company with the Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe and many more.

What It’s Like Today...

Today the infrastructure of the theatre has been much improved and a gift shop, exhibition centre and café serving cream teas, drinks and snacks has been added to the venue. The café is a must visit purely for the stunning panoramic sea views. The facilities are only accessible to individuals who have bought a ticket to view the theatre or those who've purchased tickets for a performance. To find out about the performance schedule and book tickets, visit the Minack Theatre website.

The Minack Gardens are absolutely beautiful and well worth some attention during your visit. Set in glorious cliff-tops overlooking the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay, these sub-tropical gardens are a great way to see exotic species without leaving the country. The gardeners have worked hard to nurture a range of plants you’d expect to see in the Canary Islands or South Africa. Plants such as silver trees and birds of paradise can be seen here.

Top Tip: Take something to sit on as the seats are cut out of the cliff face.

What do the Visitors say?

The view from the Minack Theatre is truly breathtaking!
2 hours later I was still taking photos and in awe of this fantastic place!
What a wonderful place and the story of how it came into being is remarkable.