Penzance Culture

The Acorn

The Acorn is Penzance’s favourite affordable theatre for live music and performing arts with a reputation for innovative programming.

For over 40 years we have hosted a huge variety of acts, groups and projects within theatre, dance, music, comedy, children’s theatre, film, choirs, youth and community engagement. Our facilities and atmosphere attract performers from the regular national and international tour circuits to play in this remote corner of Cornwall.  The Acorn also nurtures regional talent by supporting the development of new work, hosting community events and providing an affordable venue for educational arts activities.


In 1969 the former Wesleyan Methodist chapel on Parade Street was bought by Gay Sagar-Fenton who donated it to a local charity, Penzance Arts Centre, to enable them to run it as a theatre.  In 1987 the trustees of Cornwall Theatre Company Ltd., a small-scale touring theatre company took over the assets and liabilities of the Penzance Arts Centre. Their aim was to expand audiences by injecting a new enthusiasm for the arts into the community and widening the spectrum of arts provided.

In June 1996 the Acorn Arts Centre was awarded a significant grant from the National Lottery to undertake essential refurbishment of its premises and re-design the internal layout including improved access. Building works were completed in 1998 and the Acorn Arts Centre re-opened as a flexible venue with a 170-seat main theatre and a smaller basement bar and theatre space with an 80 seat capacity.

After a brief period of closure in 2010, The Acorn has come back to life and once more occupies a vital place in the community as the main centre for music, theatre, dance and other live arts in West Cornwall.


The Acorn welcomes a wide range of arts practitioners and art forms, including live music, theatre, poetry readings, story-telling, dance, film, lectures and the visual arts.  We also host charity fundraising events, classes, workshops, children’s events, album launches, meetings, markets, private parties and wedding receptions.   From international tours to school plays, the Acorn has a welcome for everyone interested in the arts.

Web Link is

Penlee Park Open Air Theatre

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

It’s described by The Western Morning News as:

“a venue that consistently punches above its weight”

In 2016, it became one of Cornwall365’s Cultural Ambassadors and in 2018 Penzance became the first town in the UK to be awarded Plastic Free status by Surfers Against Sewage; as a venue they believe it is important to make a stand against single-use plastic products and have achieved venue plastic free status by removing all petro-chemical based products and replacing them with plant-based plastic products. They are now also members of The Final Straw Cornwall, you will not find plastic straws offered in the venue! In 2018, Penlee celebrated its 70th Anniversary season.

Set in beautiful sheltered surroundings in Penlee Park, the theatre seats around 300 people. Come and enjoy an afternoon or evening of quality entertainment in the open air this summer from the wide-ranging and varied programme. Seating is venue provided.

There is the opportunity to order home-made vegetable pre-show curry, served with naan bread and yoghurt (£5.50), jacket potato with veggie curry (£6.50) or jacket potato with butter and grated cheese (£5.50) when you book your show tickets with CRBO. The home-made vegetable curry is both dairy and gluten free. In addition, there is a licensed bar plus a full range of both hot and soft drinks and snacks. Please note: hot food may not be available at all matinee performances.

Penlee Park Open Air Theatre is supported by Penzance Town Council.

Penzance Literary Festival

“The friendliest litfest”

Penzance Litfest began life in 2010 as a minor gathering on the fringes of a craft fair and has expanded rapidly into a significant and diverse celebration of books, reading and writing, with music, theatre and performance poetry added to the mix. While it quickly began to attract big-name authors, the organisers made a decision at an early stage that the growing festival would always remain rooted in the local community.

In 2019, Penzance Litfest celebrates its 10th edition (on the theme of Borderlines) with a distinctive and enticing line-up that underlines the town’s growing reputation as a top holiday destination and a centre for the arts.

Confirmed speakers for 2019 include John Harvey, Kate Clanchy and Tim Pears alongside many more internationally-known and home-grown local authors.

There are also a number of writing workshops as well as a Publishing Day, providing even more inspiration for aspiring authors.

Find out more about Penzance Litfest 2019 (and sign up for their newsletter) here


BOOK Penzance

Accommodation in Penzance – Created by local owners to give you the best value

If you’re looking for a corporate hotel chain, you won’t find it on this website. Instead, you’ll find privately owned, family run and friendly B&Bs, hotels and self-catering Penzance accommodation, and it’s the best place to make your booking: direct with the provider for the best experience.

The Fountain Tavern 01736 332269 – Elmsdale 01736 331734 – Bay Lodge 01736 351090 – Blueseas 01736 364744 – Castallack Farm & Cottages 01736 731969 – Chy-An-Mor 01736 363441 – easyPz backpackers 01736 368136 – Glencree Guesthouse 01736 362026 – Holbein House 01736 33654 – Keigwin House 01736 363930 – Panorama Guest House 01736 360798 – Rosalie Guest House and Annexe 01736 351202 – The Lugger Hotel 01736 363236 – The Old Pilchard Works 01736 732699 – Pendennis Guest House 01736 363823 – Tremont Guest House 01736 362614 – Torwood Guest House 01736 360063 – Warwick House 01736 363881 – Woodstock Guest House 01736 369049