The narrow inlet which runs almost under the back of the stage is called the Zawn. When the theatre was first built, there was no wall or barrier between the actors on stage and this ninety-foot drop. They had to be very careful not to walk too far upstage.
To the left of the Zawn, a tongue of land leads to the Minack Rock which gives its name to the theatre. You may see people around this rock fishing for mackerel or pollock.
The sea off the Minack is rich with wildlife. You will often see gannets plunging from the sky, straight down into the water. This indicates that there is a shoal of fish there. Other regular fishers are the grey seals. Look for their dark wedge-shaped heads bobbing in the water, especially around the rocks.
If you’re lucky, you may sight dolphins passing up or down the channel. Cornwall is home to several species, but you are most likely to see bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises around our shore, while basking sharks and even whales are sighted occasionally from the theatre.
We have a great range of sea birds round our shores and Cornish choughs are often seen here. You can distinguish them from other black birds by their curved, red beaks and red legs.
Look out towards the Minack Rock, and you will see a gate set among the rocks, which marks the boundary of the theatre property.
Just below the steps that lead up to the arches on stage is a gate leading out onto the cliff. This used to be the access for actors to the dressing room area. Before Miss Cade blasted a path through the granite above, they would come off stage, go through that gate and take a precipitous route round the outcrop of rock and over the rough cliff back to the dressing rooms.
From the Zawn, follow the path left and climb the steps up behind the arches. Continue along the backstage path round the rocks until you come to the large building.