The Minack is a living theatre in every sense. Its dramatic setting and the remarkable woman who built it are equally inspiring.
Our world famous theatre is perched on the rugged cliffs of South-West Cornwall. We welcome over a quarter of a million people each year to enjoy the stunning ocean views and experience the magic of live performance in this iconic space.
Our story is also the life story of the Minack’s creator, Rowena Cade. Brought up in a genteel Edwardian family, she was inspired to transform a Cornish cliff-face into an open-air arena, much of it literally built with her own hands.
Each year, we stage over 200 live performances at the Minack, including plays, musicals, opera, music and children’s events. Tens of thousands of people come here to experience a show at the theatre under the stars and become a part of its extraordinary, on-going story.
An Extraordinary Story
Our theatre may look as if it’s been here forever, but it’s actually less than a hundred years old.
Minack means a rocky place, ‘meynek’ in Cornish. If you’d been here in 1931, standing where our stage is now, you’d have been clinging to a sloping cliff, knee deep in gorse, with a ninety-foot drop to the sea behind you. Back then the drama was made by nature alone.
"The planted cliffs at Minack look wonderful all year; in winter aloes produce pokers of flower, while in May carpeting succulents bear sheets of dazzling daisy blooms. Agaves jostle with aeoniums, pink lampranthus and blue agapanthus in late summer." (Stephen Anderton, RHS: The Garden, 2013)
The story of how this rocky gully evolved into a world-famous theatre is a tale of vision, dedication and the sheer hard graft of an extraordinary woman, Rowena Cade. You’ll find more about her amazing story in the Exhibition Centre at the theatre.