Several years ago we rented a house in Cornwall for a month which gave us loads of time on the gorgeous beaches, to eat the scrumptious local fish, and take in the sights. One of the best evenings was spent at the Minack Theatre which overlooks Porthcurno beach, and is a working theatre carved out of the cliffs. It has the most incredible view of the sea imaginable.
It was created by Rowena Cade in the 1930’s, built almost single handedly by her and two local craftsmen. The Minack also has a spectacular cliff-side garden filled with succulents that thrive so well in this part of the world.
As we sat perched on the steep, omigod, such steep seats, I pondered the possibility of having to get up to use the facilities and decided against it, imagining plummeting down, across the stage and into the deep sea beyond .
As the night drew its dark curtain behind the stage and around us, it was lovely to watch the moon come up over the sea, and enjoy the changing light. The stars appeared as spotlights and the theatre took on a mystically magical quality. We could just see the lights on boats in the sea, as we enjoyed “Gulliver’s Travels” in the most unlikely of settings.
Watching that play was one of many fond memories of Cornwall.
How to enjoy the view: Minack Theatre is in Porthcurno, 20 minutes from Penzance. Follow the A30 then the B3283 south from Penzance to Porthcurno. At the seaward end of the valley, go up the winding hill and the theater entrance is on the left . Parking is free.
photographs: Jeff Thomason