La machine de Turing at Théâtre du Palais-Royal

Palais-Royal theater, alan Turing, The Turing Machine, Enigma machine
Théâtre du Palais-Royal

Until April 27, 2024

100% in French


Théâtre du Palais-Royal
38 rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris
Capacity 716 seats


1 h 30 min 

No intermission


Classical Theatre

For all audiences (See FAQs)

In French (with no surtitles)

Highlights: La machine de Turing at Théâtre du Palais-Royal

At the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, Benoît Solès's play La machine de Turing (the French term for one of history’s greatest creations) pays tribute to the veritable visionary and fascinating man that was Alan Turing. In the throes of the Second World War, Turing decoded the Enigma machine used by the Nazi army with the use of his revolutionary new machine. Written in a modern style and with constant dramatic tension, the play offers a sensitive, funny, and breathtaking account of this British genius who was sadly unappreciated in his time. A must-see piece that blends touching charm and historical dynamism at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, one of the finest theatres in Paris.


Theatregoers and critics alike have praised this piece - since its premiere in 2018, La machine de Turing has won four Molières, including Best Show!

Story: La machine de Turing at Théâtre du Palais-Royal

As set upon the stage of the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, La machine de Turing tells the story of Alan Turing: the English mathematician who constructed a ‘thinking machine’ of sorts that would become the very first computer. During the Second World War, he was recruited by the British Secret Service, and his impressive intellect and methods were used to break the ‘unbreakable’ Enigma machine used by Nazi armies. However, despite the incredible duty he served for his country, his story does not have a happy ending. Forced into silence by the Secret Services, he was condemned and punished for his homosexuality before going on to take his own life.


Now revered and pardoned in death, this is the extraordinary story of a genius and unjust victim of wartime Britain’s exclusionary dogma, crushed by the self-righteous 'machine' of 1950s England. Through an ingenious set design, two talented actors retrace the gripping and extraordinary of Turing’s Machine.


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Théâtre du Palais-Royal

38 rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris

Théâtre du Palais-Royal

In 1637, Cardinal Richelieu had a theatre built in one of the buildings of the Palais Royal. Named Théâtre Beaujolais, it was used by Molière's troupe. When the latter died, his collaborator, Jean-Baptiste Lully, transformed it into a music academy and it was in this theatre that, in 1735, the first performance of the opera-ballet Les Indes Galantes took place. Victim of two fires, the theatre was rebuilt several times and bought in 1787 by Mademoiselle Montansier. She welcomed many Italian operas and the theatre had a number of different names: Théâtre Montansier, Théâtre de la Montagne, Théâtre du Péristyle du Jardin Égalité, etc.


After the ban came the successes...

In 1807, a decree limited the number of theatres in Paris to 8. The proximity of the theatre to the Comédie-Française forced Mademoiselle Montansier to settle at the Théâtre des Variétés. During the ban, comedies were prohibited and the theatre was used for acrobats and dog shows. After the July Revolution of 1830, the actor Dormeuil had the theatre completely rebuilt: the Théâtre du Palais-Royal as we know it today was inaugurated in 1831. Eugène Labiche and Georges Feydeau's first successes took place on the stage of the theatre: Un Fil à la Patte, Le Système Ribadier and The Italian Straw Hat. The theatre then hosted vaudevilles and operettas under the baton of Hervé, known as the father of the operetta. It is also at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal that many works by Jacques Offenbach saw the light of day, including the opera-bouffe La Vie Parisienne.


A theatre dedicated to French culture

In 1880, the architect Paul Sédille redecorated the auditorium with gilding and red velvet and added to the exterior of the building, the emergency exits were covered with mosaic, which make the facade of the theatre so charming. Ever since that date, the greatest figures of French theatre have taken turns on the stage: Mistinguett, Tristan Bernard, Zizi Jeanmaire, Jean Marais, Louis de Funès, Raymond Devos etc ... In 1989, François Lemonnier, Francis Nani, and Christian Azzopardi took over the direction of the building. Since then, the best contemporary French plays have run alongside Feydeau's farces. The Théâtre du Palais-Royal has become one of the essential places for French theatrical creation.


Fast facts
Capacity: 716
Handicap Accessible: Unfortunately, no
Air conditioning: Yes
Heating: Yes
Coat Check: Yes (paid service)


How do I get to the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement of Paris?

The Théâtre du Palais-Royal is accessible by:
Metro line: The Théâtre du Palais-Royal is accessible by the Metro lines 1, 3, 7, and 14, which run until the following Metro stations: Palais-Royal - Musée du Louvre, Pyramides and Bourse.
Bus lines: The Théâtre du Palais-Royal is accessible by the bus line 21, 27, 29, 39, 68, 69, 72, 95, N11, and N24, which run until the following stations: Bibliothèque Nationale, Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre, Palais Royal - Comédie Française and Sainte-Anne - Petits Champs.
Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theatre from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Paris time. For details, we invite you to consult the map above.

What do I do when I get to the Théâtre du Palais-Royal?

We invite you to arrive 30 minutes before the beginning of La machine de Turing, and present your voucher at the front desk. Théâtre du Palais-Royal’s staff members will guide you to your seats.

How long does the theatre piece, La machine de Turing, last?

La machine de Turing lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, with no intermission.

Can I take photos during the performance of La machine de Turing?

In order not to disturb the artists on stage, and for the comfort of other guests, you are not permitted to photograph, film, or record the performance for the duration of La machine de Turing. As long as the performance is not currently in session, feel free to take a snapshot of the Théâtre du Palais-Royal to remember your night out!

It says that La machine de Turing is in French with no surtitles. Is it still accessible to English speakers?

La machine de Turing is more suited to a French-speaking audience because it is performed exclusively in French. If you feel like you have the level of French to follow along—discover French theatre through this lovely piece!

Does the Théâtre du Palais-Royal have a specific dress code?

There is no specific dress code, but proper attire is appreciated. Many Parisians will arrive directly from work, dressed in business casual or chic attire.

Is there a coat check available at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal?

At the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, you can leave your belongings in the cloakroom (€2 per item). Travel bags and suitcases are not allowed inside the theatre. Following the reinforcement of security measures as part of the Vigipirate plan, the Théâtre du Palais-Royal is applying the preventive measures decided by the government for public places. Accordingly, only one bag (handbag or backpack with a capacity of 25 litres or less) per person is allowed inside the theatre. Any spectator showing up with a suitcase will be refused entry to the theatre without the possibility of a refund. Scooters, single wheels, bicycles and bicycle batteries are also not allowed inside the theatre. Pushchairs are permitted, but only folded and left in the theatre cloakroom during the performance. We would also like to remind you that no food or drink is permitted in the theatre.

Is tipping customary at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris?

Tips are not mandatory in many Parisian theatres. However, ushers will usually appreciate a small tip of between €2 and €5, 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 to “to have a drink”.

If I'm late, will I still be allowed into the show, La machine de Turing?

In the event of a delay, spectators will be allowed entrance to the theatre. However, please note that seating in the purchased category is not guaranteed.

How do I know if my seats are next to each other?

Tickets of the same category that are booked during the same purchase session in the same booking order on our website are always assigned side by side. To be sure of this, make sure all of your tickets are in the same category and are included in your shopping cart at the time of purchase.

Can I bring a child under the age of 3?

For safety reasons, children under the age of 3 are not allowed in the venue.