The building with the long slanting roof is our dressing room block. We like to think our dressing rooms have the best view of any in the world, straight out across the ocean.
In the early years there were no dressing rooms. Actors would change up in MinacK House and walk down the path in costume to the stage.
In the 50s, Miss Cade built a single storey building, out of concrete, on a ledge about twenty feet below where you are standing. The space was so tight that one wall was actually the exposed granite cliff. This building only contained a single long room and a toilet, but it had a magnificent view. Twenty years later, she added a second storey and these two dressing rooms were in use until less than ten years ago, when the building became unstable and was condemned.
To replace them was a huge project. Miss Cade may have carried sand up from the beach by hand, but we had to install a miniature railway track from the top of the cliff to ferry materials down to the building site. Miss Cade often worked alone, perching on a wooden ladder above a sheer drop, but in the twenty first century we needed scaffolding, hard hats and risk assessments.
The new dressing rooms comprise four storeys, including two dressing rooms with video relays of the show, toilets and showers, laundry facilities, a rehearsal room and a kitchen as well as technical and prop stores. Absolute luxury compared to the past.
However, the Stage Manager still controls the show from the small wooden perch at the top of the steps, out in the weather, just like the actors and audience.
Take the steps down onto the stage. In front, to your right is a steep bank of concrete seats.