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Press Release| Writer Sought to Create Landmark Play for Minack Stage | May 2019

Press Release

10 | 05 | 19


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Talented Writer Sought
 to create a new play for the Minack Stage

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Porthcurno Beach | Photo credit the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno Archive 

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first cable landing on the beach at Porthcurno in 1870, the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, in partnership with the Minack Theatre Trust, are seeking a talented Cornwall-based playwright to develop an original work for the Minack Theatre's stage.

The play must be an original idea based on source material from the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno archives, a facility which documents the 150-year history of telegraph in literally thousands of documents, objects and historic photographs. The museum are looking for a play that can be performed not only on the Minack stage, but in other settings nationally in the future.

One writer will be selected and commissioned to write the play, which will be produced by the Minack and will premiere as part of their 2020 season. Applicants should send a covering letter, a CV of relevant writing or production history, a 20-30-page extract of a previously produced play or work, and a one-page idea or pitch for the new play to


Applications close at 5pm on 31 May 2019, and interviews and final selection will take place in June.

See for further details.

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6JX

01736 810966 ||





Print Ready 300dpi images for press use:

Please credit photos ‘courtesy of the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno Archive'.

 Porthcurno Beach

For further press information and additional high-resolution images contact
Mercedes Smith || Tel 07825 270235 |


Additional Information


The Commission

One writer will be selected and commissioned to write a new stage play for the Minack Theatre's 2020 Season. This will be paid at the recommended UK Theatre / Writers Guild rates for stage productions.

The work should be an original idea based on or drawing on source material from the archives at the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno and responding to themes which emerge from this 150 year history. Writers are encouraged to make the play one that can also be performed in other settings, so it needs to have the potential to have a future life.

Subject to the Minack's approval, the play will be produced by the Minack in June 2020. Writing to within the production budget, the play should be written to be performed by up to 6 professional actors. The number of actors will have to reduce if the play requires substantial scenery or props. Applicants should bear this in mind in their submissions.



  • 31st May 2019 - applications close
  • June 2019 - interview and selection
  • 31st October 2019 - deadline for first draft 
  • 31st December 2019 - second draft following comments
  • 28th February 2020 - third draft following comments
  • 31st March 2020 - final script


To apply, please complete and send the following

  • Covering letter with contact details, etc.
  • A writing CV, or one-page statement that lists any relevant writing commissions, training, publication and production history (including production dates, venue, director and play);
  • A one-page idea or pitch for the new play;
  • A 20-30-page extract of a previously produced play or work.

Applications will close at 5pm on 31 May 2019.


Selection Process

Following the close of entries, a longlist of up to ten writers will be selected.

These ten applications will then be reviewed by a selection panel in June 2019. This panel comprises Julia Twomlow (Director of the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno), Zoe Curnow (Executive Director of the Minack Theatre), John Brolly (Associate Director of the Minack Theatre) and representatives of the Porthcurno Collections Trust 2020 Subcommittee.

The selection panel will identify three writers who will be invited to meet with Julia Twomlow, Zoe Curnow and John Brolly in June 2019 to discuss their writing and ideas, from which one writer will be selected for the commission.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of June 2019.



Any questions or queries, please contact Julia Twomlow,

01736 811919

Porthcurno Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, no.3323350, registered office Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall TR19 6JX and is the trustee of The Porthcurno Collections Trust (The PK Trust) registered charity no.1062233.  VAT registered no: GB 699 4558 55


Editors Notes


Telegraph Museum Porthcurno

The tiny Cornish village of Porthcurno was once the heart of international telecommunications, boasting the largest telegraph station in the world. Today, the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno is a vibrant and captivating heritage attraction. Discover our World War II tunnels, which were the secret hub of Britain's wartime communications; visit the Cable Hut where the UK's network of underwater telecommunication cables came ashore; explore exhibitions and interactive displays telling the amazing story of global telecommunications. from the first practical use of electricity to how we communicate today using fibre optic cables that still run beneath the world's seas and oceans.

A Unique History

The Telegraph Museum is unique amongst Cornwall's heritage attractions and illustrates the crucial role Porthcurno and its residents played in the development of modern communications. In particular it tells the story of the people who came to train at the telegraph station, the friendships and romances they formed, the extraordinary lives they led as Cable & Wireless employees in far flung locations across the British Empire, and the vital role they played in defining the Allies' strategy during World War II.

For Families

Designed for all ages, this family-friendly interactive museum showcases the science, the people, and the amazing stories that made developments in global communications possible, and demonstrates how advances in digital communications are changing the world forever. Immerse your family in Porthcurno's lasting legacy and spend the day exploring science, technology, history and the world around us. With secret tunnels, trails, codes to crack, interactive technology, hands-on experiments and creative seasonal events, families can take advantage a wealth of inspiring activities throughout the year, as well as enjoying our onsite café, and browsing our museum shop.

For Schools

Our varied programme of school workshops combines engaging hands-on activities with time to explore the Museum. Our experienced learning team will work with you to plan your visit, tailoring workshops to meet your groups' needs or specific learning outcomes. Activities are hosted at our onsite Clore Learning Space - an accessible and flexible space designed for both formal and informal learning.

For Students and Researchers

Available by arrangement to school students, undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers, the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno houses the business archive of Cable & Wireless, an enviable collection that includes thousands of unique records from Porthcurno's lasting communication legacy, including an estimated 10,000 photographs from the 1850's to the present day. Following the closure of the original telegraph station and training school, many historically significant objects were kept and now form the basis of the Museum's unique collection, which has designated status in recognition of its national and international significance.

Additional Information

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno is owned by the PK Trust which is a registered educational charity no. 1062233.

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6JX | 01736 810966|




The Minack Theatre


The Minack Theatre is one of the world's most famous outdoor theatres. Today it welcomes more than 110,000 people a year to its performances and 170,000 people come just to look around, experience the theatre's stunning views and learn more about its history.


The idea for the theatre was born when Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House at the top of the cliff, decided to create a place for local drama enthusiasts to perform Shakespeare's The Tempest. Over the winter of 1931 and into 1932 Rowena and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, moved endless granite boulders and earth, creating the stage and the lower terraces of the theatre, in the same place as you see them today. The first performance was in August 1932. Over the past 80 years, the theatre has evolved into a professionally-equipped venue which brings the very best amateur and professional theatre to the far west of Cornwall. Rowena Cade's unique vision is thriving, and today's audiences continue to experience the magic of live theatre in this amazing place.


The Minack Theatre Trust CIO Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6JU | 01736 810181|



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