Ionesco Package: The Bald Soprano + The Lesson
Until December 31, 2023
23 Rue de la Huchette, 75005 Paris
Capacity 85 seats
A brief intermission
Classic French plays
For all audiences
In French with English surtitles (specific dates, see below)
Highlights: Ionesco Package: The Bald Soprano + The Lesson
After premiering separately in the mid 1950s, The Lesson (La leçon) and The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve) at first received little critic recognition. Yet when these two works by Eugène Ionesco were joined for one absurd evening at the Théâtre de la Huchette, history was made. The pair has been continually performed in the very same venue more than 20,000 times, before millions of audience members from all corners of the globe.
The Théâtre de la Huchette allows theatre goers to be truly immersed into the world of legendary French playwright Ionesco, featuring The Lesson (La leçon) and The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve) back to back with French with English surtitles each Wednesday evening. Don't miss this chance for a truly unique Parisian experience in a quaint charming theatre that has defied all odds to remain open in the heart of Paris' historic Latin Quarter.
See the shows with English surtitles!
The Bald Soprano and The Lesson are surtitled in English every Wednesday.
If your group has 10 or more people, the theatre can also offer surtitling on other days. Please contact us at email@example.com to offer you this service.
Story: Ionesco Package: The Bald Soprano + The Lesson
In Paris, anything is possible. Even seeing two plays by the same author in the same evening, and two plays that have made it into the Guinness Book of Records.
With The Bald Soprano: An autopsy of 1950s society through the ridiculous interactions of two couples. Join Mr. and Mrs. Smith for a quiet evening at home, yet an evening anything but ordinary. From a series of curious coincidences to a slew of incomprehensible contradictions, where will this evening turn when the Smiths receive a visit from their dear friends, the Martins?
With The Lesson: A seemingly innocent exchange in which a shy older teacher meets an outspoken student. Yet the roles are about to change in this surprising face-off! As the lessons become increasingly difficult, the insolent young student loses confidence, all while the teacher seems to be gaining vitality. Will one come out a winner in the end?
The incredible texts were definitely highlighted by the greatly talented actors. Because we were so close to the stage and the actors due to the intimate small size of the venue, we were able to savour the plays even more, a wonderful
It's been playing for ears yet not a single wrinkle, a real pleasure
Théâtre de la Huchette
Théâtre de la Huchette
A creative rebirth
Ending four years of Nazi occupation in 1945; during which censorship, curfews, and alerts practically suffocated all theatrical creation; the liberation paved the way for a creative explosion. Small theatres such as the Vieux Colombier, the Noctambules, Theatre Babylone and more began opening all over Paris, particularly in the Latin Quarter. That's when a fated pair cross paths, Marcel Pinard, the aspiring actor working odd jobs, and Georges Vitaly, the exiled Russian playwright. Pinard convinces his girlfriend at the time to rent out the legendary location at 23 rue Huchette so the two can create a theatre together, Vitaly the brains and playwright in the endeavor, with Pinard providing the location and his acting talent. The pair proves successful, and through the early 1950s the stage welcomed some of France's upcoming actors, including Jacqueline Maillan, Claude Gensac, Monique Delaroche, Pierre Mondy, François Chaumette, Jacques Fabbri, Michel Roux, and more.
A world-record theatre
Eventually Vitaly wants to move his successful plays on to a bigger venue, and he heads to the Théâtre La Bruyère. Under the sole direction of Marcel Pinard, the Théâtre Huchette takes a new direction featuring contemporary theatre. Marcel permanently unites his two leading new shows, Cantatrice Chauve and La Leçon, to create a record-breaking combo. To this day, these two performances remain the longest-running shows continually playing in the same venue, a world record!
An iconic venue
In 1975, Marcel suffers a heart attack in the theatre's tiny ticket booth. Following his death, the troupe battles to save the venue from being shut down and transformed into a restaurant for tourists. They proved successful, and this quaint theatre in the very heart of historic Paris continues to be a place of creative celebration. The headlining shows have become an institution in their own right, and welcome a full house an entire half-century later. This one of the only venues in the world welcoming generation after generation of French and international audiences to see the unchanged pair of shows, which were rather avant-garde at the time of their arrival on stage, and are now beloved classics! A quaint playhouse born in the post-war wave of creativity, the Théâtre Huchette is Parisian must-see, an entirely unexpected find in the very heart of the Latin Quarter.
Such an iconic and historic location though is not without a rumoured past! Tales have been told that prior to the Vitaly-Marcel takeover, the location of the theatre was used by monks of the nearby Saint Séverin church to bury treasure, and a witch is also rumoured to have used the cellar as a meeting point to preach an emerging new religion!
Handicap Accessible? Yes
Air conditioning? No
How do I get to the Théâtre de la Huchette in the centre of Paris?
The Théâtre de la Huchette is accessible by: Metro lines: The Théâtre de la Huchette is accessible by taking line 4 to the stop Saint-Michel or line 10 to the stop Cluny - La Sorbonne. RER: The Théâtre de la Huchette is accessible by taking the RER C or B to the stop Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame. Bus lines: The Théâtre de la Huchette is accessible by taking the bus lines 21, 27, 38, 85, or 96 to the stop Saint-Michel. We invite you to consult the map above for directions. In case of difficulty, our hotline can be reached during our business hours. Please see the footer of this page for our contact details.
What do I do when I get to the Théâtre de la Huchette?
We invite you to arrive 15 minutes before the beginning of The Lesson and The Bald Soprano, and present your voucher at the front desk. The theatre staff members will guide you to your seats.
How long does the evening with The Bald Soprano and The Lesson last?
Each show, The Lesson and The Bald Soprano, last one hour long. If you choose the Ionesco package, your evening will lasts about two hours with a brief intermission.
The night begins with The Bald Soprano beginning at 7:00 p.m., followed directly by The Lesson starting at 8:30 p.m.
Are the theatre pieces, The Bald Soprano and The Lesson, for an international audience or French speakers?
Thanks to English surtitles, both! The Bald Soprano and The Lesson have been performed in French for over 60 years in Paris and on tour across Europe, enjoying endless success. The world-record show has become an international institution, a must-see while in Paris for both French and international visitors. With the English surtitles, forget about the language barrier and enjoy an amazing French night out.
The two shows are surtitled in English every Wednesday but if you’re looking to see those shows with English surtitles on a day when there are no surtitles planned, it is also possible to add surtitles on a date of your preference if you have a group of more than 10 people! Group requests must be made through contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where will I be seated and will I see the surtitles properly?
In this intimate theatre, there is one general seating category available which ensures a comfortable view of the surtitles. At the Théâtre de la Huchette, seating is generally on a first-come, first-served basis, and Theatre in Paris guests are invited to arrive early to ensure they are able to select their desired seats.
Is tipping customary at Théâtre de la Huchette?
Tips are not mandatory in Parisian theatres. However, ushers will usually expect a small tip of between 2 euros and 5 euros which you can give them when they’ve shown you to your seat. Fun fact: the French word for “tip” is “pourboire” which literally translates in “to have a drink”.
How far in advanced should I book my tickets for The Bald Soprano?
Millions of audience members have already seen The Bald Soprano, and it is always in high demand. We recommend booking tickets in advance rather than waiting as dates tend to fill up very quickly in this small intimate theatre!
Can I see the shows separately?
Theatre in Paris guests are of course welcome to purchase separate tickets for a single show, but why not take advantage and see two incredible Ionesco plays in one evening?!