The Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre

Gwaryjy Minack

Porthcurno, Penzance, TR19 6JU
Tel: (01736) 810181


Amazing open air theatre on the cliffs

The open-air theatre Minack Theatre, with its breath taking views, is located above the western end of Porthcurno beach. Using a wealth of photographs, models and audio-visual techniques, the exhibition centre tells the story of how the Victorian girl, Rowena Cade (1893-1983) grew up to build the internationally famous cliff-side theatre that can seat an audience of 750 and is open for a sixteen week summer season.

The theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade, who moved to Cornwall after the First World War and built a house for herself and her mother on land at Minack Point for £100.

The first performance of "The Tempest" held in the summer of 1932 was lit by batteries, car headlights and the feeble power brought down from Minack House. Everyone collected their tickets at a table in the garden before clambering down the gorse lined path. Rowena Cade with her gardener Billy Rawlings and his mate Charles Thomas Angove hand built the theatre over many years to gradually develop it into what it is today.

Since 1998 our sub-tropical rockeries have become a must for gardeners with a taste for the exotic. The ideas and plant selection are based on the cliff garden developed here by Rowena Cade in the 1930's.

Recent high profile shows have included children putting a special performance for the partners of the G7 leaders when the summit was held in west Cornwall in 2021.


Light refreshments are available throughout the day from the Terrace coffee shop inside the theatre, including hot and cold drinks, ice creams, home-made cakes, cream teas, pasties and light snacks.


1893 - Rowena Cade, the Minack's "master builder", is born.

1920's - Ms Cade moves to Cornwall with her mother after World War One and the death of her father. She buys the Minack headland for £100, building her home there.

1932 - The first performance on the headland, Shakespeare's The Tempest, after Ms Cade offered her garden to be used as a performance site. She and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, built a rough terrace and seating to create a venue.

1940's Ms Cade continues developing the site for yearly productions.

1955 - Dressing rooms are completed.

1976 - The theatre becomes a charitable trust with a statement to "educate the public in the dramatic and operatic arts and to further the development of public appreciation and taste in those arts".

1983 - Ms Cade dies at the age of 89.

2020's - The Minack hosts twenty weeks of varied productions a year.

2022 - The cliff-top Minack Theatre is celebrating the 90th anniversary of performances there.

2023 - A sundial has been installed at the Minack theatre to mark thirty years of performances by a theatre company.


Sign-posted from the B3315 three miles south-east of Land's End.

The Minack Theatre
If you would like to see a show

Opening Times
The season of plays runs from 26th May to 20th September.

Monday to Friday at 8pm. (Matinees Wednesday & Friday at 2pm).

Admission Charged

The Exhibition Centre
If you only have time for a short visit

Opening Times
9.30am to 5.30pm daily 24th March to 2nd November.

Admission Charged

Porthcurno Telegraph Museum       Hall for Cornwall       Lane Theatre       Sterts Theatre

Lamorna Cove     Land's End     Porthcurno     St. Buryan