Going To The Theatre In Cornwall
Fancy a night at the theatre during your Cornwall holidays? There are some great theatres and theatre companies here in Cornwall, with performances that range from national touring productions to fabulously quirky local shows.
Here’s the Cornish Escapes’ guide to visiting the theatre in Cornwall.
Hall For Cornwall
Truro’s Hall For Cornwall first opened in 1997 on the site of the city’s old market hall. It closed for three years in 2018, relaunching in 2021 with the brand new Fisherman’s Friends musical and a fabulous revamped auditorium.
Cornwall’s largest theatre offers a wide programme of productions: plays, musicals, music gigs, comedy, dance, local schools’ shows… There’s bound to be something on that you like during your holidays in Cornwall. Make a night of it with a little something in their elegant new Playhouse Bar and a meal out in lively Truro.
The Minack Theatre
Everyone knows about this iconic Cornish landmark – but it really is something you have to experience in real life. The Minack Theatre offers a varied programme from touring companies, from Shakespeare to musicals. There are also often kids’ shows on during the day in the school holidays. All the shows have one thing in common: the most beautiful backdrop you’ll ever see.
Book in advance then come prepared for all weathers. Bring a cushion and a rug for comfort, and don’t forget a picnic, as you’ll feel bereft when all the hampers come out.
The Acorn, Penzance
The little Acorn in the centre of Penzance offers an eclectic programme of comedy, live music, storytelling, interviews and theatre. If you want to see something a bit quirky or very Cornish, this is the place to come.
There’s always a great atmosphere in the old Wesleyan Chapel, which has now been a theatre for almost 50 years.
Kids R Us
This is our local theatre in St Ives, and we love it! Kids R Us is a youth theatre, founded in 1993 by Phil Barnett. The incredibly talented crew is based in its own theatre (another former Wesleyan chapel), and has none other than Sir Tim Rice as its patron.
They perform several shows a year, and there’s always a real blockbuster during the summer holidays (such as Les Miserables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cats). If you’re unsure about youth theatre, go. The production values are extremely high and the young cast always extraordinary.
“Outdoor theatre” really doesn’t do Rogue Otherworld justice. Join them on an immersive journey through Tehidy Woods, which takes you along paths and through the trees, often with vignettes en route and a performance at the end.
As you can tell, it’s not easy to pin down and describe the Rogue theatre experience! Book tickets, and be prepared for something truly different.
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre
Penzance is blessed with lots of beautiful green spaces, including the lovely subtropical Penlee Park. Hidden behind trees, there’s a wonderful outdoor theatre in Penlee that’s been entertaining Penzance since 1948.
The fast-changing programme covers everything, and if you’re in Cornwall during the school summer holidays, you’ll find a great choice of family-friendly shows, music and storytelling.
The Regal in Redruth is best-known as a cinema (we recommend this, too!); however, Screen One transforms into a modern 470-seat theatre for live performances, including live music, comedy gigs and musicals.
If you love a good tribute act, the Regal is the place to come. Treat yourself to seats in one of the boxes for a superb view (and waiter service) or book a table in the bar for pre-dinner dining.
Lane Theatre, Newquay
Our guests in Newquay will be pleased to know that they don’t have to travel to Truro or the west for live theatre. Newquay has its very own venue, a former village hall that was rescued from ruin and converted into a performance space in 1980.
Lane Theatre is small (138 seats) but it’s a great little place, which still manages to fit in its own bar. The programme is varied, with a good mix of plays, music and musicals.
Book Your Cornish Theatre Trip
Whatever your favourite genre of theatre may be, you’ll find a performance to enjoy during your Cornwall holidays.
Because performances can be sold out quickly, we suggest booking in advance – maybe even when you’re booking your Cornwall holiday cottage. We have holiday cottages in Cornwall in and around St Ives, Penzance and Newquay, so you’ll always be close to a theatre!