About the Acorn

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

For nearly 50 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.

The Acorn has long had an important part to play in our communities in Penzance and West Penwith. Today, we are re-stating our commitment to deepen our understanding of  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion issues in order to play our role in ensuring that Penzance is a respectful and diverse town for everyone, irrespective of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Therefore, over the coming months, Acorn’s trustees and employees will be participating in discussions and events as we create our anti-discrimination policies.

Please contact Richie if you have any enquiries or would like to discuss a booking at The Acorn.