Minack Theatre : A Small Wonder In Cornwall

If you were asking me some days ago which is the most spectacular open-air theatre in Europe, probably my answer would be the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece or the Seebuhne in Lake Constance, Austria  but I didn’t know that there is a third one in the same league as the above! The  Minack(rocky place)  theatre is a really a small wonder  at the far end of Cornwall at Porthcurno, close to Land’s End. A small open-air theatre constructed on a granite cliff and overlooking the spectacular panorama of the Porthcurno bay in the Atlantic ocean. This theatre was the vision  and labour of Rowena Cade  who managed to construct this theatre at the end of her garden with the help of her gardener.  The very first performance, the Tempest was  on 16 August of 1932. The theatre opens between April-September with various performances (see the programme at https://www.minack.com/calendar-2/


View of the theatre from the top.





The name of each theatrical performance has been curved on the granite’s seats.


View from the cafe of Minack Theatre

The place has its own microclimate and the view is beyond imagination. As I was admiring the view (pic. below), the beach with the gold sand and huge waves, one gentleman  next to me told me “I have never imagined that I can experience something like that in England. It seems to me that I’m somewhere in the Continent”.




Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House (picture above), decided that the cliffs below her garden would be the perfect setting for a theatre  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”(source at https://www.minack.com/our-history-1)


Rowena Cadet (1893-1983) an inspiring woman who used her money, labour and influence during a very hard period in Europe (between the two World Wars) and left a remarkable legacy. Sometimes the willpower and determination of an individual can make wonders!


Deauville in the movies

Belle Epoque and Deauville are two words chained together.  Someone who visits Deauville can feel strongly the joie de vivre of this era. The magnificent architecture of the houses, the well maintained  Promenade des Planches for big walks along the beach and the fact that the beach closets named after the Hollywood stars – a landmark for recognising the place as the setting for the film “Un Homme and Une Femme” by Claude Lelouch – show the prosperity of the place and the reason why the creative people used it as a setting of their work. For quite a long time, I had a very vivid memory of Jean Louis Trintignant’s racing car speeding on a huge sandy beach, somewhere in France, and meeting up with Anouk Aimee. That time, I was quite young and didn’t question about the name of the place,  only later in life  when I saw  “Private Lives” by Noel Coward in the theatre, I kept in my mind the name.  Deauville was the resort for the  international bourgeoisie of that time and it was connected to major European cities with fast trains. It was really well maintained place for  leisure and the   two main casinos in the area  kept entertaining the bourgeoisie. The Casino in Deauville was the original Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. Deauville was the setting of the film “Coco before Chanel” with Audrey Tatou and the birthplace of Chanel’s Clothing career. As well as, the town has been mentioned in one of the chapters of  Proust’s in Search of Lost Time.


Le Promenade des Planches: The beach closets dedicated to the stars of Hollywood.





Deauville Corniche.


Deauville’s Townhall.




Deauville beach.


Casino Royale, Deauville


Mansions along the beach of Trouville.IMG_4962




A library at the Plage of Deauville.


Shopping  in Trouville is a totally different experience from Deauville.


A view of Trouville from the boat.


Deauville has kept its international profile by hosting the American Film Festival and each year troops of celebrities come to visit the resort. Perhaps, Deauville’s  aura is due to the myth and exclusivity that stills offers to its residents.

For cinephiles and bookworms places like Deauville are a bonus for reviving our imagination even further. Somehow, it works as historical archaeological sites of the modern times!

Eurogroup Copains En Vacances

Suddenly, I started feeling withdrawal symptoms by not seeing anymore on a daily basis the main protagonists of the Greek Crisis negotiations and I was wondering what they were doing these days without having to attend their regular  “critical”  meetings in Brussels.  Interestingly enough, most of them  decided to spend their holidays locally, in good old and beautiful Europe!

Christian Lagarde chose to spend her holidays elegantly at the hotel Conti in the beautiful area of  Villeuneve-des-Avignons,  South of France.


Angela Merkel with her spouse chose to go for Trekking at Solda, South Tyrol. Trekking is always recommended for those people who are taking serious decision.



Wolfgang Schäuble is  a regular on  Sylt island, a holiday resort for the super rich Germans.



Alexis Tsipras went  on the island of Erikousa, a small island close to Corfu for few days with his wife Betty.



In the meantime, the Eurogroup signed the third bailout, around 85 billions Euro. Soon the whole “island” of Greece will be on sale with thousands of migrants who are arriving daily in a state of despair!

Europe :The embarrassment of riches

“Baby, the rich have a wonderful time” I was thinking while noticing the Europeans around Athens,Paris,London, during my visit in the mentioned cities, before preparing my suitcases for my next secondment to the cold climates.
The Athenians… that they didn’t eat it all collectively rather just by themselves using fork and knife, were being prepared to taste the first class champagne on the VIP’s island, Mykonos.

“Μωρό μου, οι πλούσιοι περνάνε θαύμα παντός καιρού” ήταν μια από τις σκέψεις που έκανα καθώς παρατηρούσα τους κατοίκους της Ευρώπης -Αθήνα, Παρίσι, Λονδίνο- στο μικρό γύρo που έκανα, πριν ετοιμάσω τα μπογαλάκια μου για τη καινούργια απόσπασή μου στα κρύα κλίματα.
Οι Αθηναίοι… που δεν τα “φάγανε όλοι μαζί”, αλλά μόνοι τους με πιρούνι και μαχαίρι, ετοιμάζονταν να γευτούν την πιο ακριβή σαμπάνια στη Μύκονο.

In Paris, most tourists were Chinese trying to absorb the wonders of Western civilisation & al. at the Louvre museum. The rich Parisians were heading to the low-profile island, Il De Re or Provence -the southern beaches have been invaded by Russians plutocrats. In these resorts, I noticed the products prices were triply expensive from the previous year. Don’t forget, the market price is regulated by the demand, If there are people who can pay, why not? At the same period, the french car industry -Peugeot Citroen- announced the redundancy of 8000 workers.

Στο Παρίσι, οι περισσότεροι τουρίστες ήταν κινέζοι οι οποίοι προσπαθούσαν να απορροφήσουν το δυτικό πολιτισμό “και άλλους..” που ήταν συγκεντρωμένος στο Λούβρο.Οι πλούσιοι Παριζιάνοι ετοιμάζονταν για διακοπές στο “χαμηλό προφίλ” νησί Ιλ Ντε Ρε και τη Προβηγκία-τα παράλια του γαλλικού νότου τα έχουν αφήσει για τους Ρώσους πλουτοκράτες. Σε αυτά τα θερινά θέρετρα, πρόσεξα ότι οι τιμές των προιόντων έχουν τριπλασιασθεί από πέρσι. Μην ξεχνάτε, οι τιμές της αγοράς έχουν άμεση σχέση με τη ζήτηση, αφού υπάρχουν πελάτες που μπορούν να πληρώσουν, γιατί όχι; Την ίδια χρονική περίοδο, η γαλλική αυτοκινητοβιομηχανία Πεζώ και Σιτροέν μόλις ανακοίνωσε ότι θα απολύσει 8000 εργάτες!

The London of the Olympics disclosed the whole liberal system of “who pays and who earns” at the empty seats of the Olympic stadium. The Phantom tickets were forgotten inside the drawers of the Corporate executives, who were being tanned at the warm beaches of the planet, instead of at the seats of the Olympic stadium. And why not, their tickets were free and the bill of the super show will be sent to those people who have a stable address e.g. East End, Liverpool….

Στο Λονδίνο των Ολυμπιακών, το ξεμπρόστιασμα όλου του συστήματος “Γιάννης κερνάει, Γιάννης πίνει” φάνηκε στις κερκίδες. Εισιτήρια δεν υπάρχουν και οι κερκίδες είναι άδειες. Τα εισιτήρια φαντάσματα έχουν ξεχαστεί μέσα στα συρτάρια των εκσέκιουτιβς, οι οποίοι προτίμησαν να μαυρίσουν τα κορμιά τους στις ζεστές παραλίες του πλανήτη, παρά στις κερκίδες του Ολυμπιακού σταδίου. Γιατί άλλωστε να ζορίστουν; Tζάμπα ήταν και ο λογαρισμός του υπερθεάματος θα σταλεί σε αυτούς που έχουν σταθερές διευθύνσεις όπως π.χ. Ιστ Εντ, Λίβερπουλ …

Οι περισσότεροι από τους παραπάνω προνομιούχους έχουν στην κυριολεξία κινητές διευθύνσεις, όπως παραδείγματος χάριν το κρουαζιερόπλοιο Τhe World.
Μost of the above privilege people’s addresses are literally movable. They are residents of the cruise ship The World.

The World is a cruise ship serving as a residential community owned by its residents.The residents, from about 40 different countries, live on board as the ship travels the globe—staying in most ports from 2 to 5 days. Some residents live on board full time while others visit periodically throughout the year…

Let’s put some music a la grecque/Πάμε τραγούδι 😉

Penelope’s beaches

Θάλασσα πλατιά
σ’ αγαπώ γιατί μου μοιάζεις
θάλασσα βαθιά
μια στιγμή δεν ησυχάζεις
λες κι έχεις καρδιά…

Το παραπάνω άσμα θυμήθηκα καθώς κοιτούσα τις φωτογραφίες από παραλίες που συχνάζω ή σύχναζα κατά καιρούς. Ολες έχουν τις ομορφιές τους και τις ιδιαιτερότητές τους.

Dikastika, Marathon, Athens, GR

High point : diving from a height, no winds and waves

Low point. dangerous of getting hurt. A bit scary seeing the deep waters(at least for me, the scary cat)

Δύσκολα πια να βρεις βράχο  να σταθείς στο κάποτε ερημικό μέρος. Κοντεύει να κτισθεί όλο το βουνό

Abu Dhabi,UAE

High point : warm waters all year around.

Low point : sea made by man

Zεστή θάλασσα σαν τζακούζι  σχεδόν όλο το χρόνο.Νοιώθει κανείς  ότι κολυμπά  σε καθαρά ‘μαιμού’ θάλασσα.

Οι καμήλες είναι οι μόνες original του τοπίου, δεν είναι ‘μαιμού’ ούτε genetically modified.

East Hampton, Long Island, USA

High point:  having fun with the waves, watching the  Wasp-well heeled  New Yorkers bathing

Low point : wearing one piece of swimsuit, otherwise you are in dangerous of getting out naked

Τρόμαξα να μπώ. Να βγώ ήταν εύκολο, το κύμα με βοήθησε να προσγειωθώ με λιγότερα αξεσουάρ από  ότι  όταν μπήκα. Καπέλο, γυαλιά και το σουτιέν του μαγιού ταξίδευαν για Πορτογαλία μεριά . O ντόπιος  ποιητής τα περιγράφει καλύτερα την κατάσταση

I stand as on some mighty eagle’s beak,
Eastward the sea absorbing, viewing, (nothing but sea and sky,)
The tossing waves, the foam, the ships in the distance,

The wild unrest, the snowy, curling caps–that inbound urge and urge
of waves,
Seeking the shores forever.

Walt Whitman (From Montauk point)

Shinias, Marathon, Athens, GR

High point : watching the Greeks  by just lying on the sunbed

Low point : getting  a  real sense of alienation from the nature. Costs a fortune, sunbed, frappuccino, ice-creams etc…

Eλληνική παραλία με τα όλα της, ξαπλώστρες, τα μεγάφωνα στη διαπασών με τα τραγούδια του Galaxy, οι ρακέτες , οι τσιρίδες……. Φεύγω, κάθε φορά  εντελώς αλλοτριωμένη

Ile de Re , La Rochelle , France

High point : real sense of the nature, getting an idea how the Parisians are bathing

Low point : cold waters and a lot of stones.

Iδια κατάσταση με τα Hamptons, η θάλασσα πιο ήπια αλλά το ίδιο κρύα. Βλέπεις τους κουλτουριάρηδες παριζιάνους με τα τελευταία μοντελάκια τους. Η μόνη διαφορά από τα Χάμπτονς είναι ότι δεν βλέπεις να  ξεχυλίζει από τα μαγιώ των λουομένων  περιτό λίπος

Tenby , South Wales, UK

High point : huge areas of golden sand, real sense of the Atlantic ocean, the next stop is America

Low point : too cold to swim

Παραλία μόνο να τη βλέπεις και να περπατάς στην χρυσή  άμμο, πάντα με το κατάλληλο πανωφόρι. Γ ια αυτό και οι ντόπιοι φεύγουν για Mάλαγα Ισπανίας..


Brighton UK

High point : busy, lively, nearest beach to London

Low point :  stony beach

Το μυστικό αυτής της παραλίας είναι να την αράξει κανείς σε αυτές τις υπέροχες σεζλονγκ φορώντας αδιάβροχο και τρώγοντας φις & τσιπς και να παρακολουθεί τους άλλους που πουντιάζουν….

Greece in the movies © (Revisited)*

‘Hey, big spenders!  If you want to have first class holidays and a bit of Hollywood touch, the answer is Greece!. This was the slogan which came to mind as I was searching about the movies filmed in various parts  of Greece. Enjoy! 🙂

Agios Ioannis Scopelos

Mama Mia

The film is directed by Phyllida Lloyd.
Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgård.

Skopelos near Skiathos in the Sporades.

My life in Ruins  (2009)

Cast : Nia Vardalos

Athens, Acropolis


Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
Filmed on Kefalonia.
Directed by: John Madden.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz and John Hurt.

Mediterraneo (1991)
Filmed on Kastelorizo.
The film won an Oscar in 1992 for best foreign film.
Directed by: Gabriele Salvatores.
Cast: Diego Abatantuono and Claudio Bigagli.

The Kings of Mykonos(2010)

Filmed on Mykonos

Directed by: Peter Andrikidis

Cast :Nick Giannopoulos, Vince Colosimos

Shirley Valentin (1989)

Filmed on Mykonos.
Directed by: Lewis Gilbert.
Cast: Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

The Big Blue (1988)
Partly shot on Amorgos.
Directed by: Luc Besson.
Cast: Jean Reno, Jean-Marc Barr and Rosanna Arquette.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider:The cradle of life (2003)

Oia Santorini

Directed by Jan De Pont

Written by Dean Georgaris

Cast : Angelina Jolie

Summer Lovers (1982)
Filmed on Santorini.
Directed by: Randal Kleiser.
Cast: Peter Gallagher, Daryl Hannah and Carole Cook.

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Filmed on Corfu (and Meteora on the Greek mainland).
Directed by: John Glen.
Cast: Roger Moore och Carole Bouquet.

Zorba – the Greek (1964)
Filmed on Crete (and Athens).
The film won three Oscars in 1965, including best picture.
Directed by: Mihalis Kakogiannis.
Cast: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates and Irene Papas.


* Because there is a lot of traffic in this post lately(particularly from America), I decided to repost it.

υ.γ : Bρε μπας και μας αγοράσει το Χόλιγουντ και γίνουμε πλούσιοι και διάσημοι όπως μας αξίζει; Αλλωστε στο DNA μας είναι το θέατρο και το θέαμα. Ετσι μπουλούκια από ‘αγανακτισμένους’, ‘μετανιωμένους’, ‘διεφθαρμένους’.. παίζουμε στο πλατώ με το καλύτερο σκηνικό που υπάρχει σε αυτό τον πλανήτη, το ελληνικό τοπίο.

copyright 2008 – 2011 By Dia Mexi-Jones for Penelope is going global