Penlee Park Open Air Theatre is the theatre in the park in the heart of Penzance. A unique outdoor theatre space that has celebrated Cornish, national and international performers since 1948.
In 2015, we were delighted to be awarded a Family Arts Standard marque – your guide to good value family arts events and in 2016 we were awarded Cornwall 365’s Cultural Ambassador status.
Set in the beautiful sheltered surroundings in Penlee Park, the theatre seats around 350 people. Come and enjoy an afternoon or evening of quality entertainment in the open air this summer from our varied programme. There is a bar and pre-show hot food available.
The open-air theatre owes its beginning to the Cornwall Shakespeare Festival in 1948, under the auspices of Penzance Town Council.
The first productions by this remarkable group of thespians included Harry Welchman (the celebrated idol of the West End) who performed ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ co-directed by Ernest Pierce and Wallace Nichols.
In it’s first year the improvised stage was constructed of borrowed wooden beer crates and covered in imitation grass from the greengrocers.
After a successful festival in 1949 Penzance Town Council commissioned the building of the earth and granite stage that is still standing, and the planting of privet hedges. Thus the theatre was established and the festival prevailed for a number of years.
We currently host about 50 events per season ranging across a wide spectrum and welcome in excess of 8,000 people to the venue.
In 2017 we have formed a consortium with Sterts Theatre and Trebah Gardens ampitheatre, this enables to develop our profile across the sector and develop shared marketing ideas. We have recently applied to Arts Council England for a substantial grant towards working together on a production in 2018 – which will be our 70th Anniversary Season!
“We work in a creative industry where people and personalities are at the forefront. Being part of the Samphire Club is a perfect fit in that it seamlessly provides both new opportunities and access to John’s vast networking experience to develop and enhance both our future offers to others. We’re excited about the future and look forward to creating it together.”
t: 07816 285 367
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