Minack Theatre, carved out of rock

15 Jul

In 1929, a local village group of actors around Crean, Cornwall decided to stage an open air version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in a meadow. The show proved popular and next year they staged The Tempest.

A local woman, Rowena Cade, offered to build a stage and seating in her garden, overlooking Minack rock, and with the help of her gardener they were able to stage a repeat of The Tempest in 1932. Rowena was only 38 when she decided to dedicate the next 51 years building one of the most remarkable theatres ever seen.  She even left sketches of further improvements on her deathbed.

With the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove she would haul sand from the beach, as well as huge beams which had to be dragged up from the shore.  As they built ever more elaborate stage and seating, Rowena would carve Celtic designs onto the drying cement with the tip of a screwdriver.

Today the theatre stages professional productions during the summer evenings, but attracts many visitors during the day because of the amazing structures and gardens, as well as the view out to sea.

The theatre as also been used in a number of films and television productions, and most recently as part of a BBC ident featuring several dancers on the stage.

Here are some other images of the theatre from various angles:

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Posted by on Friday 15th July 2011 in Places


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