The rugged Cornish coast is where you will find the Minack Theatre. The word “minack” means “rocky place” in Cornish and is very fitting for this beautiful open-air theatre, which has been constructed into the cliffs with the coast and sea as the background.
Unlike the many theatres that are found around Europe, this one was not built by the Romans, but rather by a very determined woman, Rowena Cade. From 1931 when she was 38 until her death in 1983 she planned, built and financed the theatre herself, only with a little help with cutting out granite from the cliffs.
The story of this woman is amazing. When the second world war ended, the coastal defences were cleared thus clearing all of the theatre as well. All of her hard work was all in vain as she was now back to where she was in 1932 when she had only just begun. Yet, she never gave up her dream.
One of the in stories you can read about in the small museum by the theatre tells about the day when Rowena found twelve 3.5 meter long wooden beams on the shoreline, which she believed to be perfect for her theatre. She single-handedly dragged these huge beams all the way from the shore to the site of the theatre. Later, when customs officials were looking for the beams, which turned out came from a wrecked ship, she admitted that she had taken them for her theatre. They didn’t believe her and didn’t even bother to go check. A 60-year old woman dragging these huge beams all that way? Impossible!
I love this place. Not only for the amazing theatre on this gorgeous setting. But also for the history of the place and the woman who created it. It’s an inspiration to everyone who has a dream of something bigger. It shows us that if we’ve got the determination we can do whatever we want. It’s hard work, but if we are willing to work for it we will succeed.