Rowena Cade's first helper was her gardener, Billy Rawlings. In the winter of 1931/2 she enlisted him to help her transform her rocky, cliffside garden into a stage for a single production of The Tempest. Together they raised the sloping ground by 10 feet with rock and earth, and turfed over it to make a stage and a series of terraces cut for the audience to sit on. 

“The slope was covered with rough grass, bracken and gorse and was not naturally concave, but jutted out in a pile of huge boulders …. These boulders, my gardener, Billy Rawlings, aided by another Cornishman, cut up by hand, much as the English cut butter.“ (Rowena Cade)

Neither she, nor Billy imagined that they would be working together on the creation of the Minack for the rest of their lives.

Today, actor Mark Harandon, takes on the character of Billy to tell the true story of this incredible feat, and the life-long working friendship between Miss Cade and Billy Rawlings.

You can Meet Billy in the theatre on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 10am and 12.30pm.

If you want to be sure of catching Billy - please contact the Box Office.

During the Covid lockdowns, Mark created a series of videos in the character of Billy, telling stories about the Minack and the parish of St Levan. Billy at Home