Arts & Culture, Family Activities, Leisure Activities

The Minack Theatre

Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, UK, TR19 6JU
View of the Minack Theatre
  • Overview
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When you’re in West Cornwall, it’s only a short-ish (and beautiful) drive to The Minack Theatre. Known across the globe, The Minack is an awe-inspiring open-air theatre carved from the cliffs high above Porthcurno beach. This spectacular theatre offers a fabulous programme of productions (as well as improvised performances from passing dolphin pods).

The theatre was originally the realisation of one woman’s incredible dream, the incomparable Rowena Cade, who lived in clifftop Minack House. Finding the natural acoustics of a local granite valley so inspiring, she began crafting a theatre from the rocks in 1931. She and her trusty gardener Billy Rawlings worked all winter, hefting slabs of granite until there was a performance space ready for a production of The Tempest. Rowena continued to work on the theatre until her mid eighties.

Bring a blanket, waterproofs, sunblock, shades (you never know) and a hamper, and immerse yourself in a show with the best backdrop imaginable. The season usually runs from April until early October, with no performances over the winter. Any disappointment with this timetable will soon be countered if you imagine sitting high up on a Cornish cliff, at night, in December…

However, you may be able catch one of the off-season, daytime storytelling sessions. These are usually held in the half term holidays, with short performances by the splendid Penzance-based Squashbox Theatre and other Minack favourite, John Brolly. The Minack is also open for visitors during the day, all year round. There is a visitor centre; and you can scramble around the seats and stage at will. Plus, if you like your cream tea with a dramatic view, there’s no better place than The Minack’s cliff-perching café.

Facilities

  • Free parking
  • Exhibition centre
  • Gardens
  • Café & gift shop
  • Dog-friendly

 

Opening times

Winter opening hours

From October 1 to 28, the Minack Theatre is open daily from 10am. Last entry at 5pm and the theatre closes at 5.30pm.

From October 29 to February 28, the Minack Theatre is open daily from 10am. Last entry at 3.30pm and the theatre closes at 4.30pm. (Café closes at 3.30pm.)

Summer opening hours

From March 1 to September 30, the Minack Theatre is open daily from 9.30am.

Last entry on most days is 5pm and the theatre closes at 5.30pm. However please check our opening time on the day you intend to visit as we are closed to visiting when a performance is taking place.

Admission

  • Adult £4.50
  • Senior (60+) £3.50
  • Children 11 & under 50p
  • Children 15 & under £2.50
  • Children Under 2 Free
  • Concessions for groups of 10 or more (please contact us in advance for large groups)

Local directions

By bus

First Bus’ 1 and 1A service links Penzance and Land’s End and stops in Porthcurno, a ten minute walk from the Theatre. The last bus of the day leaves Porthcurno at 17.53 (information correct April 2015).

A local travel firm runs trips to see performances at the Minack with pick up points in St Ives and Penzance. Contact Oates Travel for details.

Red Planet Travel provides transport information from anywhere in the world.

By car

Follow the road signs to Porthcurno  and brown tourist signs for the Minack Theatre.

For sat navs our postcode is TR19 6JU. However, Sat Navs will direct you via the B3283 through the village of St.Buryan. This road has some very narrow sections which frequently get blocked when holiday traffic meets large camper vans, tractors and buses! The result is long hold ups.

We suggest a smoother route is to follow the A30 almost to Land’s End before following the signs at Trevescan to Porthcurno and Minack.

This is an essential route for coaches and large camper vehicles.

If you’re planning a trip to the Minack, why not register with Carshare Cornwall and see if you can reduce the number of cars in our car park!

If you’re planning a trip to the Minack, why not register with Carshare Cornwall and see if you can reduce the number of cars in our car park!

By taxi

Local taxi firms will bring you to the Minack and collect you after a performance. The Penzance Taxi Register has a list of local firms or contact

Prowse Cars +44(0)1736 871786
West Cornwall Cars +44(0)1736 787473

 

Accessibility

The Minack Theatre has ramped access to all of our visitor facilities but access to the main parts of the theatre is via many steps.

Our car park has accessible parking bays adjacent to the entrance, with a ramp for wheelchair access to the visitor centre. There is ramped access to the exhibition centre and café, and there is an accessible toilet. An accessible balcony overlooking the theatre has wheelchair access, but access to the main auditorium and stage is by steps and is not accessible to visitors with limited mobility.

If you are coming to a performance and would like to use the accessible balcony please call our Box Office on +44 (0)1736 810181. There is a limited number of spaces, so it’s best to book as early as possible.

A hearing loop is available in the Lower Terraces and on our Accessible Balcony. Please call the box office or email box@minack.com for more details.

If you have any other special needs please contact us on +44 (0)1736 810181 and we will help in any way we can.

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