Theatres In Cornwall

Theatres In Cornwall

The magic of live theatres in Cornwall can never be truly replicated through a screen, and Cornwall’s collection of unique and charming theatres provide the perfect venues to experience it. Whether you’re embracing the hustle and bustle of a lively performance at Hall for Cornwall or immersing yourself in the striking architecture of Minack Theatre, it’s clear that each venue holds its own unique character and charm.

With a wide range of productions spanning from cutting-edge new writing to classic Shakespearean plays, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Cornwall’s theatres. So why not take a trip to one of the county’s many theatres and witness the electrifying energy that can only be found backstage?

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Outdoor Theatre In Cornwall

Cornwall is renowned for its natural beauty, with rugged coastlines, picturesque villages, and a rich cultural heritage. But one often overlooked gem is its vibrant outdoor theatre scene.

Combining the drama of live performance with the stunning backdrop of Cornwall’s landscapes, outdoor theatre here offers an unforgettable cultural experience.

The Unique Charm of Outdoor Theatre

Outdoor theatre has a magic all its own. Unlike traditional indoor venues, outdoor stages bring a natural element to performances, creating a more immersive and dynamic atmosphere.

The sounds of nature, the changing light, and the fresh air all contribute to a sensory experience that enhances the storytelling and emotional impact of the drama.

In Cornwall, this charm is amplified by the breathtaking scenery. Imagine watching a Shakespearean play with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop or enjoying a musical under the stars with the scent of wildflowers in the air.

These are moments that stay with you long after the final curtain call.

Top Outdoor Theatre Venues in Cornwall

The Minack Theatre

No discussion of outdoor theatre in Cornwall would be complete without mentioning The Minack Theatre. Situated on the cliffs overlooking Porthcurno Beach, The Minack is arguably one of the most famous outdoor theatres in the world.

Built into the granite cliffs by Rowena Cade in the 1930s, this amphitheatre offers a dramatic setting that complements the performances staged here.


Stunning Coastal Views

The backdrop of the ocean adds an extra layer of drama to any performance.

Historical Significance

Walking through the theatre, you can feel the history and passion that went into its creation.

Diverse Programmes

From classic Shakespeare to contemporary plays, The Minack offers something for everyone.

Trebah Amphitheatre

Nestled within the lush gardens of Trebah, this amphitheatre provides a more intimate setting for outdoor performances.

The natural bowl shape of the garden enhances acoustics, making it an ideal location for musical and theatrical productions alike.


Beautiful Garden Setting

The verdant surroundings create a tranquil and enchanting atmosphere.

Family-Friendly Events

Trebah hosts a range of performances suitable for all ages, making it a great outing for families.


The venue is well-equipped to accommodate visitors with mobility issues.

Sterts Theatre and Arts Centre

Located in Liskeard, Sterts Theatre offers a unique combination of open-air and covered seating, ensuring that performances can go ahead come rain or shine. The theatre is part of a larger arts centre that supports local talent and offers a diverse range of programming.



The covered seating ensures that you can enjoy the show regardless of the weather.

Community Focus

Sterts supports local artists and often features community productions.

Varied Programming

From comedy to drama and live music, there’s always something interesting on offer.

Seasonal Highlights: Summer Performances

Summer is the peak season for outdoor theatre in Cornwall, with a variety of performances to choose from. The warm weather and longer days make it the perfect time to enjoy a play or musical under the open sky.

Must-See Summer Productions

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Minack

Shakespeare’s classic comedy takes on new life in this stunning coastal setting.

Family-Friendly Shows at Trebah

Look out for interactive performances that engage younger audiences.

Live Music at Sterts

Enjoy an evening of music ranging from classical to contemporary in a relaxed, open-air environment.

Tips for Enjoying Outdoor Theatre in Cornwall

Book Early

Outdoor performances in Cornwall are incredibly popular, especially during the summer months. Booking in advance ensures you get the best seats.

Dress Appropriately

Even in summer, the coastal weather can be unpredictable. Bring layers and waterproof clothing just in case.

Arrive Early

Many venues offer beautiful surroundings worth exploring before the show starts. Arriving early also allows you to secure a good spot.

Bring a Picnic

Many outdoor theatre venues encourage picnicking. Pack some local Cornish treats and enjoy a pre-show meal with a view.

Respect Nature

Remember to leave no trace. Dispose of your rubbish properly and respect the natural environment that makes these venues so special.

Famous Old Theatres In Cornwall

Cornwall, with its stunning coastal landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is a place of stories waiting to be discovered. One of the less explored yet profoundly enchanting aspects of this region is its collection of historic theatres. These establishments are not just venues for performing arts; they are relics of a bygone era, each with a unique story etched into their walls. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of Cornwall’s famous old theatres.

Minack Theatre: A Cliffside Marvel

Perched dramatically on the cliffs of Porthcurno, the Minack Theatre is arguably one of the most spectacular open-air theatres in the world. Conceived and built by Rowena Cade in the 1930s, this theatre offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a truly unique venue for Shakespearean plays, musicals, and contemporary performances.

History and Architecture

Rowena Cade envisioned creating a space for the local drama club to perform “The Tempest” in 1932. Over the years, she and her team of gardeners and local craftsmen carved this marvel out of granite. The terraces, seating areas, and stage are all built with painstaking detail, reflecting Cade’s dedication and passion. The Minack Theatre is not just a testament to her vision but also a symbol of artistic perseverance.

Visiting Experience

Visitors to Minack can explore the theatre during the day, enjoying the subtropical gardens and learning about its history through exhibitions and guided tours. At night, the theatre comes alive with performances that range from classic dramas to modern operas, set against the backdrop of the sunset and the sound of the waves crashing below.

The Hall for Cornwall: Truro’s Cultural Hub

Located in the heart of Truro, The Hall for Cornwall is a beacon of cultural vibrancy. This historic venue, which dates back to the 19th century, has undergone significant renovations to maintain its grandeur while providing state-of-the-art facilities for modern performances.

Historical Significance

Originally built as a market hall and assembly rooms in 1846, The Hall for Cornwall has served various functions over the years. Its transformation into a theatre began in the 1990s, when it was repurposed to become the premier venue for the performing arts in Cornwall. The building itself is a fine example of Victorian architecture, with elegant interiors that evoke a sense of grandeur and history.

Modern-Day Offerings

Today, The Hall for Cornwall hosts an array of performances, from West End productions to local theatre, concerts, and comedy shows. Its recent redevelopment has enhanced its facilities, making it a flexible space that can accommodate large-scale productions and intimate performances alike.

Sterts Theatre: A Moorland Gem

Sterts Theatre, nestled on the edge of Bodmin Moor, offers a different yet equally captivating theatrical experience. This open-air theatre, sheltered under a tent-like canopy, provides an intimate setting where audiences can enjoy performances in the midst of nature.

Origins and Development

Founded in 1982 by Ewart and Ann Simons, Sterts Theatre began as a small community project. It has since grown into a well-respected venue that attracts performers and audiences from far and wide. The theatre’s unique design, with its protective canopy, allows for performances to continue regardless of Cornwall’s unpredictable weather.

Community and Performances

Sterts Theatre is renowned for its strong community focus, offering opportunities for local talent to shine. Its summer season is particularly popular, featuring a mix of classic plays, musicals, and innovative productions. The theatre also runs workshops and educational programmes, fostering a love for the arts in the local community.

The Regal Theatre: Redruth’s Historic Venue

The Regal Theatre in Redruth is a cherished landmark with a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. This Art Deco gem has been a pillar of entertainment in the town, evolving from a cinema to a multi-use venue that celebrates both film and live performances.

A Glimpse into the Past

Opened in 1935, The Regal Theatre originally operated as a cinema, captivating audiences with the magic of the silver screen. Over the decades, it has adapted to changing times, now boasting a varied programme that includes theatre productions, live music, and community events.

Today’s Regal Experience

Following recent refurbishments, The Regal Theatre combines its historic charm with modern amenities. It features multiple screens for films and a main stage for live performances, ensuring there’s something for everyone. The theatre’s commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing contemporary entertainment makes it a beloved venue in Redruth.

The Poly: Falmouth’s Cultural Cornerstone

The Poly, short for The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, is one of Cornwall’s oldest cultural institutions. Situated in Falmouth, this venue has been a centre for education, innovation, and the arts since the 19th century.

Historical Roots

Founded in 1833, The Poly was initially established to promote the study of science and the arts. The building itself is a Grade II listed structure, reflecting its historical importance. Over the years, it has hosted lectures, exhibitions, and performances, becoming a cornerstone of Falmouth’s cultural life.

Art and Innovation Today

The Poly continues to be a vibrant hub, offering a diverse range of activities. Its theatre showcases everything from film screenings to live performances, while its gallery spaces host exhibitions by local and international artists. The Poly also runs workshops and events that engage the community, staying true to its founding vision.

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Drive In Theatre Cornwall

Do you remember the days of drive-in movies and the excitement they brought? Well, you’re in luck because the Drive-In Theatre Cornwall is bringing back that nostalgic feeling. Located just a short drive from Cornwall’s city center, the theatre offers a unique movie experience that’s perfect for families and couples looking to enjoy a night out.

You’ll find the latest Hollywood blockbusters alongside classic films, all on a big screen so you can sit back and relax in the comfort of your car. Pack your snacks and blankets, and head out for a night under the stars watching movies just like back in the good old days. The Drive-In Theatre Cornwall is a hidden gem that you don’t want to miss out on, so book your tickets now!

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