Porthcurno Beach stars as Nampara Cove in the British drama, Poldark. (‘Porth’ is Cornish for ‘port’. Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it?!?) With gorgeous fine sand kissed by the turquoise sea and high, craggy cliffs on both sides, it’s an oasis of stunning natural beauty.
And the scale… this cove is BIG. In the next photo you see a man walking on the beach… he’s merely a small speck!
On the banks of Porthcurno is the famous Minack Theater. You can enjoy breathtaking views of Porthcurno and the coast of Cornwall from this iconic theater, which was started in 1932 (minack, from the Cornish meynek, means a stony or rocky place). This next photo is a panoramic shot of Porthcurno beach taken from the Minack Theater.
The Minack Theater was born in the early 20th century out of a desire for a perfect venue at which to present William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. From the Minack Theater website:
In 1929, local drama enthusiasts put on an out-door performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on a grassy meadow about a mile inland from the Minack. It was a great success and a couple of years later the players were looking for a venue to perform The Tempest.
Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House, decided that the cliffs below her garden would be the perfect setting, and over the winter of 1931 and into 1932 she and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, moved endless granite boulders and earth, creating the lower terraces of the theatre, much as they are today.
The Tempest was big success, even gaining a positive review in The Times, and over the next few years Rowena and her gardeners made many improvements, building a throne for Antony and Cleopatra and creating the beginnings of the stage structures you see today. The stage was still grass-covered, players changed in Minack House, and the audience bought their tickets from a trestle table before clambering down steep slopes to the theatre.
The Minack in 1932:
Facing the seats:
And from above, you can see that some of the seating is grass… which might be a bit more comfortable than the stone!
Here is the staging area of the theater. What a stunning backdrop for any production!
There is a great map on this website that makes a good resource if planning a trip to Cornwall.
If you haven’t watched Poldark, you really MUST check it out. It’s a great series, based on Winston Graham’s historical novels, centered around the lives of Ross Poldark and his family. There is drama, intrigue and romance… everything required of a classic show!
When a new season comes out, we simply cannot wait, and we usually break down and purchase the whole season so we can enjoy without waiting for new episodes (to make it easy for you, here is my affiliate link to the first 3 seasons: Poldark: seasons 1-3). I believe it is also available on Netflix.
I’m so glad you could join us for our visit to Cornwall! Stay tuned for more travel adventures!!