The Acorn is a life-enhancing, vibrant, creative centre for live arts for all of West Cornwall, with a reputation for innovative (and occasionally quirky!) programming.
For over 40 years it has hosted a huge variety of acts, groups and projects including theatre, dance, music, youth, community engagement, comedy, children’s theatre, films and choirs, and its great 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, 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 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 increase and expand the 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/theatre with a 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, open or group meetings, markets, private parties and wedding receptions. From international tours to school plays, the Acorn has a welcome for everyone interested in the arts.
Please contact us if you have any enquiries or would like to discuss a booking at The Acorn.
Company and Charity Information
Our registered name is: Cornwall Theatre Company Ltd
Registered Office: The Acorn, Parade Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4BU
Registered Company No: 1587249
Registered Charity No: 283545