Tag Archives: Cornwall

Foto Friday: A Theatre Carved out of a Cliff

Near Porthcurno, Cornwall
June 2008

Can anything be better than watching a play facing the Atlantic Ocean on seats carved by hand?

I sat down on these hard rock “seats” and waited for the modern version of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” to begin. It was a summer day’s evening and the Minack Theatre was quickly filling up with other theatre-goers. In front of us was a small stage, and behind that stage, the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop.

I was unfamiliar with this Shakespearean play, but felt that it was indeed entertaining and worth the watch. However, the main purpose of my visit there was not to watch the play, but to just be there, sitting on a “seat” of this magnificent work of art, this theatre on a cliff carved by hand by just one woman. Her name was Rowena Cade.

Cade began work on the Minack Theatre in 1932 and worked on it till her passing in 1983. From a simple garden, which was originally Cade’s backyard, the area evolved into a full outdoor theatre with seats and a stage. Patrons from around the country would travel down south to Cornwall during the summer to catch a glimpse of this theatre and the plays that were performed there. Almost eight decades after the first stone was laid, I, a foreigner, was there too, embracing the hard work, blood and sweat that the remarkable Cade had put into constructing this impressive piece of work.

You can read the whole history of the Minack Theatre here.

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Every photograph we take contains a story, but we often do not spend enough time sharing that story with others. Hence, Foto Friday was born to give some recognition to these forgotten photographs and the memories they hold. Taken over many trips (2004-present) using my crappy cameras and whatever minimal photography skills I have, these photographs serve to give you a little insight into my travels. And if you haven’t realised by now, they’ll be out on Fridays.

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