The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve)
Until May 31, 2024
23 Rue de la Huchette, 75005 Paris
Capacity 85 seats
Classic French play
For all audiences
In French (Certain dates surtitled in English, see below)
Highlights: The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve)
The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve) is 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?
See the show with English surtitles!
The Bald Soprano (La Cantatrice chauve) performances 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: The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve)
When the clock strikes 5 o'clock, the detective-maid announces the arrival of the Martins, a young couple who may or may not know each other. Knocks continue at the door, but is someone there? Join the mysterious world of The Bald Soprano, full of riddles and paradox!
The Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve) is a record-breaking play by Eugène Ionesco that paints an absurd picture of 1950s society. See the world's longest continually-performing show in the historic Parisian venue, Théâtre de la Huchette. Both troubling and hilarious, this commentary on everyday life has been leaving audiences thinking for over 60 years! What was once a rather avant-garde new play, has now become a theatrical institution all on its own.
France may have changed, but this historic show surely hasn't. Since The Bald Soprano began playing at the Théâtre de la Huchette, France has seen nine presidents and four oil crises, yet the show carries on with the same legendary decor, staging, and momentum. Join the over 2.5 million spectators who have seen this Ionesco play in the quaint little Théâtre de la Huchette.
More than a gem, this show is a jewel! The actors' performance, the intelligent staging and joyful interpretation of the text left me filled with happiness
The actors are all excellent, we laughed a bit but wholeheartedly at the absurdity of it all, bravo!
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 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 Bald Soprano (La cantatrice chauve), and present your voucher at the front desk. The theatre staff members will guide you to your seats.
Where will I be seated and will I see the surtitles properly during The Bald Soprano?
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 for performance of The Bald Soprano.
How long does The Bald Soprano last?
The Bald Soprano lasts exactly one hour with no intermission.
Is The Bald Soprano for an international audience or French speakers?
Thanks to English surtitles, both! The Bald Soprano has 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.
This show is surtitled in English every Wednesday but if you’re looking to see this show 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
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!