Dramatic outdoor theatre in Cornwall this summer

People sit on the stone steps waiting fir a performance to start at Minack Theatre

Taking in a show at Minack Theatre - Credit: Duncan C, Flickr

The summer is the perfect time to take in a show at one of these amazing locations.

All the world's a stage which means you don't just need to head to your local theatre in order to see some amazing plays and shows. Across the country, the summer weather allows for local landmarks and countryside spots to be taken over by actors. So grab a blanket, fill the picnic basket, and settle in for an afternoon or evening of pure drama.

Minack Theatre

No list of Cornish outdoor theatre could be complete with Minack Theatre, one of the most iconic sites in the South West. Now 90 years old, the amphitheatre has hosted a huge number of actors and shows over it's history. You can go behind the scenes and learn more about the creation of Minack here

This summer, there will be a huge number of touring performances making a stop at Minack for your enjoyment. Families with young children can enjoy an extended run of The Piskie in the Garden which mixes storytelling with puppets and music. Surrey Opera will also be in attendance for several performances of Don Giovanni.

View the full list of what's on here

Carn Marth Amphitheatre

Carn Marth is one of a series of ancient hills running along the coast to Land's End, making for a spectacular backdrop for outdoor theatrics when the weather is warm. They have three performances coming up this summer, starting with Twisted Tales on June 19th. Ahead of an Edinburgh Festival run, ‘Owdyado Theatre are reviving two of their most talked about plays from Twisted Tales Vol.1 in a deliciously depraved double bill that reveals the darkness under the domestic, the lengths people will go to for love, and how to wash blood stains out of a carpet!

In July, you can enjoy Rise and Shine's rendition of the hilarious Recruiting Officer or Miracle Theatre's King Lear (more on the latter below). 

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Newquay Orchard

Built by the community for the community, Newquay Orchard was just a patch of land 6 years ago. The "not-so-secret-garden" has now flourished into a centre for culture and will be hosting several outdoor shows this summer for visitors and locals alike. The whole family can enjoy Awful Auntie or A Midsummer Night's Dream, or alternatively book for The Last Baguette's King Arthur where there will be roaring fires complete with food.

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Trelissick Theatre

This popular National Trust property is the perfect spot to while away an evening with some family theatre. As well as Miracle's King Lear, they will have a performance of Beatrix Potter's Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny on June 25th. Join Peter and Benjamin on their hair-raising adventures in Michael Whitmore's delightful new adaptation for young and old alike.

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Penlee Park

For more than 70 years, Penlee have made a name for themselves as a top-tier open air theatre, with some of the best performers crossing their stage. Set in the heart of the park, around 300 people can enjoy a performance at any given time. In July, you will be able to enjoy one of several performances, with further events planned for later months

Learn more here

Extra: Miracle Theatre

As an added extra, we want to draw your attention to a Cornish theatre company who tour the South West and beyond each year, bringing superb drama to the furthest reaches. This year, they are taking a production of King Lear around the county, including the Isles of Scilly. This fresh and fast-paced adaptation of Shakespeare’s text – pared down to its bare essentials – tells a shocking, yet tender, story of ageing and madness, fuelled by ambition and fired by betrayal. 

Find your nearest performance here

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