A round-up of where to for English-language theatre in Paris like at Le Bout theatre with its red facade and a yellow van parked outside.Chris Goldberg

If you look closely at Paris you’ll see that the city itself is a stage, from the neighborhood early-riser who stops by the boulangerie for his morning croissant, to the Parisian woman who loses her scarf in the breeze as she dashes after a bus. But look further than these daily mises en scène and you may be quite surprised to learn the variety of theatrical productions large and small that Paris has to offer.

The places to go for anglo-friendly theatre in Paris.Marco Bianchetti

Often eclipsed by the celebrated theatre scenes of cities like New York and London, a night of live performance is also very much an evening activity à la française. Paris boasts hundreds of playhouses of all sizes, from quaint neighborhood theatres to grandiose historic institutions. You’ll see Parisians lining up outside these venues every night of the week to catch a show.

The theatres in Paris for English-friendly plays and performances.Corinne Moncelli

Until recently, however, the multilingual theatre scene has remained relatively inaccessible to international audiences, aside from a few exceptional English-speaking stand-up comedians and the cabaret shows made famous by the 2001 Moulin Rouge film. But progress never ceases and new technologies now allow English-speaking audiences to attend all kinds live performances alongside locals without missing a word. While operas have long been familiar with the concept of translation in real-time using surtitles, the idea never truly expanded beyond this primarily Italian genre.

Theatre in Paris for English-language speakers are becoming easier to find.Théâtre de la Ville

What are surtitles? Surtitles are the live performance equivalent of movie subtitles; a translation of the spoken text, projected on a screen above the stage in real time to ensure the audience can see both the text and the action on the stage to never miss a beat. One of the companies on the forefront of this technique in Paris is Theatre in Paris, who partners with theatres all over the city to take French shows (from classics like Molière, to comedies, musicals) and projects surtitles in English so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. The Theatre in Paris experience begins when you are greeted at the entrance of the theatre for a brief introduction about the show and given a special English program. Business travelers, expats, and culture-seeking visitors can all have the opportunity to live like the locals and see a Parisian show.


The Comédie Française theatre in Paris, puts on English plays and performances.Julien

There are several options available for anglophones seeking out a French theatre experience, including many classics from the national tome- including works from French favorite Victor Hugo. After the literary and theatrical success of Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris, the celebrated French author again enthrals with Ruy Blas, starring a commoner-in-disguise who dares to love Spanish royalty. Victor Hugo brings us to the year 1699 when Charles II ruled Spain with his wife, Queen Maria.

English plays and stand-up comedy in Paris theatres.Lloyd Dirks

This adaptation takes a colorful twist on an ageless journey of unrequited love and unresolved rivalries. Humiliated and dishonored, the protagonist is brought into ever-tightening circles with the woman he loves. Considered one of Hugo’s best works, delve deeper into the complex world of Victor Hugo in a historic Parisian playhouse.

Ruy Blas is showing at the Théâtre du Ranelagh (5 rue de Vignes, 16th, metro La Muette (Line 9), Boulainvilliers (RER C))  through May, with showtimes Wednesday through Saturday at 8:45pm, and Sundays at 5pm. Ticket prices start at €30 per person and Theatre in Paris guests are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show to benefit from the pre-show welcome.

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Written by Theatre in Paris for HiP Paris. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In.


Theatre in Paris

A secret many Paris visitors rarely discover is that just like New York and London, Paris has a diverse and thriving theatre scene. True Parisians start lining up all over the city for the latest plays and musicals every night of the week. Now, for the first time ever thanks to Theatre in Paris and their unique live subtitling system, visitors and expats can enjoy the City of Lights’ best-kept secret. In 2018, they have brand new comedies, classic masterpieces, and unusual gems translated and ready to welcome an international audience in the world of theatre, right here in Paris.

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