Humour, comedy and theatre in Paris

Classic plays, comedies and one-(wo)man shows: this autumn’s theatre listings in Paris.

The Paris cultural calendar is packed with events for theatre and comedyshow fans, from one-(wo)man shows to classic and contemporaryplays.

Comedy shows

Olivier Giraud, spectacle how to become parisian in one hour © DR

One-(wo)man shows and live performances are highly imaginative, promising an evening of fun to be enjoyed with friends or family. Laughter and gaiety are on the cards with comedies and stand-upcomedians: you’ll be sure to have a whale of a time.

There is an international slant to one-man shows in the French capital this year. You don’t have to be a fluent English speaker to enjoy Olivier Giraud’s show How to Become Parisian in One Hour at the Théâtre des Nouveautés. The young British stand-up comedian Paul Taylor explores cultural differences at L’Européen in #Franglais, his hilarious bilingualshow. And, at the Théâtre de l’Œuvre, One Night Stand is a regular new show featuring American stand-up comedians in Paris.

The irresistible and off-beat La Nuit des Publivores event, spotlighting the very best international advertising spots, will be held for the 37th successive year at the Grand Rex in Paris on 14 October (subtitled in English).

Comedy shows are staged not only in dedicated spaces such as Le Palais des Glaces and Le Point Virgule, but also in large venues where comedy regularly features in eclectic programming: the Casino de Paris, Folies Bergere and Bobino.

Theatre in the limelight

Theatre in Paris - Cyrano de Bergerac, Paris © DR Fabienne RAPPENEAU

High drama in Paris! This autumn the curtain will open to reveal some exciting new plays. Clever, light-hearted, thought-provoking, funny, melancholic: the sheer variety of plays on offer this autumn will enchant audiences of every stripe.  More than 100 Paris venues regularly stage plays, among them the Comédie Française, the Théâtre du Rond-Point, the Théâtre de la Michodière, the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens and the Théâtre  Edouard VII … there is something for all tastes!

This autumn, Paris theatres will be paying tribute to theatre classics. Molière takes centre stage at the Théâtre du Ranelagh with performances of Mikhail Boulgakov’s play Le roman de Monsieur Molière (Life of M. de Molière) and L’Avare (The Miser), both with English surtitles; and also at the Théâtre Michel with Le Médecin malgré lui and the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin with a production of Tartuffe. Another great French classic, Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, will be staged at the Ranelagh (surtitles in English), while Edmond, a play being staged at the Théâtre du Palais Royal, is a fictionalized account of the writing of the book about the long-nosed character. Racine par la racine at the Théâtre Essaïon takes a light-hearted and funny look at the famous French playwright’s work. The Théâtre Essaïon is also paying homage to Anton Chekov with a production of one of the Russian writer’s most controversial plays, Oncle Vania (Uncle Vanya).

Contemporary plays will also feature in theatre programming in Paris this autumn, as at the Théâtre Laurette with a production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Huis clos, a modern chamber of hell, and at the Comédie Française, where the Jean Genet play Haute surveillance, set in a penitentiary, explores the theme of imprisonment.

The Paris theatre calendar also makes space for modern vaudeville and comedy, with C’est encore mieux l’après-midi (the French adaptation of the Ray Cooney farce ‘Two Into One’) at the Théâtre des Nouveautés and La vraie vie (surtitled in English) at the Théâtre Edouard VII. Both plays are built around a series of hilarious misunderstandings.

Note: Foreign plays are often staged in the original language with French surtitles. Some theatres are accessible to the hard of hearing (Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, Opéra national de Paris, Comédie-Française, Théâtre National de Chaillot...). And international audiences can also enjoy an outing to the theatre in Paris, as some plays are surtitled in English.

Showtime in Paris

"How to become a Parisian in one hour" by Olivier Giraud

Show - comedy, one-man show
Currently available in streaming
Théâtre des Nouveautés - 24 boulevard Poissonnière, Paris

Olivier Giraud offers a show in English on the attitudes and idiosyncrasies of Parisians: mannerisms and habits that have given th...

Tréteaux nomades (Suspended)

Festival | Show - theatre
August 2021
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

This festival presents a series of shows, including various types of performing arts, burlesque theatre, music, poetry and popular...