Firstly, I have to say that I have not had the privilege of attending a production at the Minack; however, on a previous visit, I was fortunate to see the cast rehearsing for "HMS Pinafore" and it was a memorable occasion, particularly on such a clear, blue sky day with the waves crashing onto the rocks far below.
My most recent visit this summer was every bit as good although there were no rehearsals going on. For me, the Minack is as much about it's location, how it was hewn out of the rocks by Rowena Cade to fulfil her vision, and the staggering views down across Porthcurno beach. Regardless of the fact that this is a working theatre, it must have some of the best panoramic views anywhere in Cornwall.
The flower beds and gardens that surround the theatre are full with sub-tropical plants as well as more traditional Cornish flora. The steps between the levels are steep but the hand rails are more than adequate. The entire place always makes me think of a three-dimensional maze, and that is a positive criticism! I can almost imagine that the Minack wouldn't look out of place should it suddenly find itself moved to Portmeirion in Wales, for it seems so very similar in many respects, it is quirky, unique and a delight to see and wander around.
Whatever you do, don't miss the chance to see the wondrous view to the side of the theatre across Porthcurno beach, which has water as clear as anywhere in Greece and bright, yellow sand to match. The only reason for giving the Minack a 4 star rating is because it is obviously a theatre, and as yet, I haven't seen a production. But as and when I do, my next review will almost certainly be a 5 star one.
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