Capital of food and fashion, city of lights and love, Paris is also the city of theatres – some no bigger than a closet, others dating as far back as the 17th century. But Paris hasn’t stayed stuck in the past, and the diversity of the shows on offer are testament to that.
Comédie-Française: one of the oldest in the world
Built in 1680, Comédie-Française’s troupe was actually made up of two rival groups, giving birth to the diversity of plays, aesthetic and performances which the theatre is still known for today. One of the few state theatres still in operation today in France it’s the only one to have its own troupe – a great honour for the actors. It was the famous French playwright Molière’s theatre, earning it the name of ‘Maison Molière’ in the late 1600s.
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Les Bouffes du Nord: a grand wooden architectural feat
One of the city’s top theatres, the 1976 majestic distressed wooden Bouffes du Nord Theatre is tucked away behind the Gare du Nord. Seemingly destined for failure, it threatened to close down several time before really taking off as a venue, mixing music, theatre and opera under the direction of Peter Brooke in the 1970s.
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Theatre du Châtelet: a setting for diversity
Built on the site of a small chateau (a châtelet) by Paris’s iconic architect Baron Haussmann in 1862, it was here at Theatre du Châtelet that Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days first ran and continued for more than six decades. Its twin, the Theatre de la Ville, sits across the river. It offers musicals, ballet, pop and classical music concerts.
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