The Minack Theatre | Open air experience in Cornwall

The Minack Theatre review

When I think of heading to a theatre with a 4 year old, I can’t help but get a little anxious. However, when I realised that The Minack Theatre in Cornwall is an open air theatre on the edge of a beautiful cliff in Porthcurno, I couldn’t wait! What could be better? Whilst staying in Penzance we hopped in the car and drove the 15 minute journey to watch ‘The Lonely Lighthouse Keeper’, we had no idea what to expect but had heard great things.  Before our first open air theatre experience, I wanted to do a little bit of research and find out more information focusing on the history of this stunning place. The Minack Theatre is one of the word’s top 10 open air experiences according to The Lonely Planet and so we knew we’d be in for a treat.

The History | Girl Power

The Minack Theatre was created by one single woman and her gardener, back in the 1930’s. Rowena Cade wanted to create a space in which theatre enthusiasts could enjoy performing Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. She decided to purchase The Minack Headland for £100 and settled in creating a house for herself and her mother. Within 6 months she had been able to create basic seating and a simple stage – over the next 7 years they added more and slowly developed the area into what it is today.

Our experience

As you can see from the photos featured in this post, The Minack Theatre is gorgeous. What a space to be able to sit and watch a play – what a place to sit and be able to dream of all the history behind it. We were incredibly lucky with the weather – 27 degrees and not a cloud in the sky! Unfortunately there wasn’t much shade and so by the end of the show we were in need of a drink and some shade. We watched The Lonely Lighthouse Keeper by John Brolly and what a fab show that was! It’s the story of a man who moves to a lighthouse in order to escape his noisy knitting neighbour, Nora! It’s a funny story and Brolly really gets the audience involved! We thoroughly enjoyed it and Daisy loved the story – really paying attention and getting involved when and where she could!

Facilities

It’s funny how different our expectations can be when comparing to reality! I had no idea what to expect from the Minack Theatre – we had only seen a few photos! When we arrived there was plenty of parking with staff guiding us to the ticket office and helping guests if need be. After either purchasing a ticket or showing already bought tickets, you then get to go on through to the theatre and pick somewhere to sit. There are plenty of spaces and wow, the view! As soon as you park up you can see the cliffs and look out onto the beautiful scenery – it really is breathtaking. What a space to watch a play. There is also a little cafe shop where you can purchase drinks and snacks, then on the way out there’s another cafe in which you can sit and have something to eat whilst looking out onto the beautiful view. There’s also a little gift shop too!

A few little tips

  1. If it’s a hot day then bring suncream, hats and lots of water. There wasn’t much shade and so it’s hard to shelter from the sun if it’s that hot! Also sunglasses are a must as you can see better then, too.
  2. If it’s chilly or cold, then come prepped with a blanket – I think I read somewhere (it’s worth double checking!) that you can ask for hot water bottles during the winter months. If not then you can definitely bring your own.
  3. Bring your camera because the views are gorgeous.
  4. There are a lot of stairs so just be prepared if you have little kids or struggle with mobility.
  5. Check little ones have been to the toilet as it’s quite a trek to head back on up and down again!
  6. Grab some snacks after getting your seat.

You must go!

If you are in the area then definitely check out what’s going on at The Minack Theatre. They have plays for all ages and sometimes bands, too. It’s a fun, family friendly and affordable activity and really brings history to life. Cornwall is one of our most favourite places in the world, and this little hidden treasure really needs to be added to any Cornwall-lover’s bucket list! If you do head on over, let us know what you think.

*We received complimentary entry due to working with Cornwall 365, all words and opinions are 100% honest and our own* 

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