Places to Visit
The Minack is a unique theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean. We put on a full programme of drama, musicals and opera every summer, together with music, comedy and story-telling.
In 1929, local drama enthusiasts put on an out-door performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on a grassy meadow about a mile inland from the Minack. It was a great success and a couple of years later the players were looking for a venue to perform The Tempest.
Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House, decided that the cliffs below her garden would be the perfect setting, and over the winter of 1931 and into 1932 she and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, moved endless granite boulders and earth, creating the lower terraces of the theatre, much as they are today.
The Tempest was big success, even gaining a positive review in The Times, and over the next few years Rowena and her gardeners made many improvements, building a throne for Antony and Cleopatra and creating the beginnings of the stage structures you see today. The stage was still grass-covered, players changed in Minack House, and the audience bought their tickets from a trestle table before clambering down steep slopes to the theatre.
Rowena Cade 1893 – 1983
Helston Theatre Company – Whistle Down The Wind – April 20 to 22
The idea for the theatre was born when Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House at the top of the cliff, decided to create a place for local drama enthusiasts to perform Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Over the winter of 1931 and into 1932 Rowena and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, moved endless granite boulders and earth, creating the stage and the lower terraces of the theatre, in the same place as you see them today. The first performance was in August 1932.
The first performance of The Tempest – 1932
Over the past 80 years, the theatre has evolved into today’s professionally-equipped venue which brings the very best amateur and professional theatre to the far west of Cornwall. Rowena Cade’s unique vision is thriving, and today’s audiences continue to experience the magic of live theatre in this amazing place.