In summer, modern-day troubadours descend into parks and gardens. Plays, circus acts, performance, puppet shows ... While you are out for a walk, stop off to enjoy open-air performances!
Théâtre de verdure
Tucked away in the Bois de Boulogne, in the heart of the Pré Catelan, the Théâtre de Verdure in the Shakespeare Garden is one of the loveliest in the world. In an idyllic setting, it consists of a stage, a back stage area, and a lawn that seats up to 400 spectators. Every year, during the summer months, from May to September, it offers a nice programme for children and grown-ups.
Tucked away in the heart of the Latin Quarter in one of Paris's oldest sites. Built in the 1st century, the Arènes de Lutèce encompass an ancient Gallo-Roman amphitheatre, only discovered at the end of the 19th century. Each year in September, during a big festival, events are held outdoors, as in ancient times. On the programme: numerous shows and open air cinema screenings.
As summer draws to a close, the Festival itinérant des arènes de Montmartre returns. For more than fifteen years, this itinerant event has been staging performing arts acts in various places in the capital: the Montmartre amphitheatre, the courtyard of the Hôtel de Beauvais, La Bellevilloise, Place Sainte-Marthe ... On the programme: street theatre, commedia dell'arte, burlesque theatre, music, poetry and a funfair spectacle.
Originating in 1808 in Lyon, the puppet Guignol has been delighting children for more than two hundred years!
With the arrival of summer days, there is nothing like a puppet show outdoors for family fun. And Paris has still some outdoor puppet theatres. Surrounded by greenery, these outdoor shows delight young and old alike with beautiful stories drawn from the traditional repertoire or original creations.
Created in 1836 on the Champs-Élysées, the Théâtre Guignol Anatole took up residence in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in 1903. Taken over by the Compagnie des Petits Bouffons in 2003, it offers a varied repertoire of entertainment in this lovely park.
Inaugurated in 1934 in the Saint-Lambert square, in the middle of the 15th arrondissement, the Théâtre Guignol Saint-Lambert is run by the talented troupe Guignol & Compagnie. It puts on puppet shows and stories for children such as the ‘Chat de la mère Michel’ (Mother Michel’s Cat).
Other Guignol and puppet theatres can be found in most parts of Paris. The capital’s parks and gardens play host to shows all year round, especially in summer: the Luxembourg Gardens, the Parc Georges Brassens ; the puppet show in the Champ-de-Mars, a few steps from the Eiffel Tower, takes place in a lovely little Napoleon III-style theatre. Guignol and his friends also entertain kids – and grown-ups – in the Parc Floral, the elegant Parc Monceau and Parc Montsouris, opposite the Cité Universitaire.
Festival Paris l’Eté (Paris summer festival)
For a few days only, from the end of July to the beginning of August, the ‘Festival Paris l'Eté’ rolls out a rich and full programme of open-air performances of circus, dance, theatre, readings, magic ... in various unexpected spots around the city.