Going to the theatre in St Ives and West Cornwall
3rd July 2021
West Cornwall has a reputation for being really artistic – and this extends to the performing arts. There are so many great theatres and companies around here that there’s bound to be a show that catches your eye during your stay.
We’re delighted that Cornwall’s theatres are open again; however, like all venues, they are having to limit numbers for COVID-secure reasons. Please make sure you book your night out well in advance!
From talented kids to vertiginous cliffs, here’s our guide to a great night out at the theatre in St Ives and across West Cornwall.
Kidz R Us
St Ives Theatre is housed in a former chapel in the town, and is the base of the energetic Kidz R Us. Rethink any preconceptions you may have about kids’ theatre being just for kids to watch: a Kidz’ production is a real treat for any audience.
The talent, hard work, and high production values of cast and crew are astounding; and they’re given the stamp of approval by none other than Sir Tim Rice, who is their patron. Founder and chair is Phil Barnett, a well-known local hero who found national fame on BBC’s The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief.
This summer’s shows are Disenchanted (a very different take in fairytale favourites) and a musical medley, The Greatest Show.
For a fun family show, try to catch a Squashbox Theatre performance. Penzance-based performer Craig Johnston combines music, puppetry and storytelling to create really engaging productions for kids (and big kids) of all ages. Squashbox is often found performing at the Minack Theatre during the day during school holidays, to a theatre full of giggling children.
One of West Cornwall’s most original theatre experiences comes from the incomparable Rogue Otherworld (formerly Rogue Theatre). A completely different style of theatre, their shows guide you through the trees to various storytelling spaces in Tehidy Woods and immerse you in a different world.
A Rogue production always manages to be both magical and mischievous, never losing their warm Cornish humour while transporting you to a mystical new world. We love them.
The Minack Theatre
The Minack Theatre is a spectacular open-air stage and auditorium perched on the clifftops above beautiful Porthcurno Beach. The Minack runs a diverse programme every summer (with guest appearances from passing gulls, ships, and dolphins).
The theatre was hewn from the granite cliffs by Rowena Cade, whose family lived in a house on the cliffs. Along with her gardener, she started creating her unique theatre as a young drama enthusiast in 1931, and continued until her death in her eighties. Take a picnic, a blanket, a cushion and clothing for every possible type of weather, and enjoy this unique theatrical experience.
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre
We’re always optimistic about the weather, and the Minack is not the only outdoor venue in the area. Penlee Park Open Air Theatre is in the gorgeous sub-tropical Penlee Gardens in Penzance. From Shakespeare to stand-up, and concerts that range from classical to folk, Penlee delivers a lively and varied programme.
If you can’t catch a show, head towards Penlee Park one day anyway: it’s one of Penzance’s loveliest green spaces, and has a top playground, an excellent café, and is home to the Penlee House Museum and Gallery.
Hall for Cornwall
Truro’s Hall For Cornwall has been closed for a major refurbishment, and is scheduled to re-open after the summer with a brand new show, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical.
HfC puts on all manner of shows, from touring West End productions to big-name stand-up. Ballet, opera, musicals, comedy, tribute acts and actual acts… Truro is a good place for a night out, with a great selection of bars and restaurants, so we hope you can catch a show at HfC at some point, if not this summer.
The Regal, Redruth
The Regal Theatre in Redruth is a refurbished Art Deco style cinema which shows both films and live performances. If they’re free, book one of the boxes in Screen 1 and enjoy waiter-service during the show. (The Royal Cinema in St Ives is one of the Regal’s sister cinemas, both belonging to the Merlin Cinemas group.)
We’re sure you’ll find something to go and see during your stay here! If you’d like to know anything else about entertainment in and around St Ives, please ask our Reception team.