Valjean, beyond Les Misérables

Valjean, beyond Les Misérables
Théâtre Essaïon

Show ended

100% in English


Théâtre Essaïon
6 rue Pierre au lard, 75004 Paris
Capacity 102 seats



1 hour 15 minutes

No intermission



Suitable for all ages

100% in English

Highlights: Valjean, beyond Les Misérables

An intimate look at Victor Hugo's Les Misérable hero, Jean Valjean. Valjean's story is one of rising from the ashes, His moral battle from prisoner and fugitive, to business man and loving guardian has turned him into a French literary hero. But once his beloved Cosette leaves his side, how can life go on? Glimpse the Jean Valjean beyond Les Misérables in a unique original performance.

Story: Valjean, beyond Les Misérables

Valjean's journey from a fierce hatred of the human race to the discovery of love, embodying an elevation of consciousness. He is an anti-hero who became a heroic icon, but he remains a human being above all and therefore, he is deeply vulnerable.


This original intimate adaptation of Les Misérables offers a new approach – simple, essential and intimate - of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. Inspired by the literary hero since childhood, the talented performer has been enthralling audiences with his original work, a personal dive into the inner workings and reflections of Jean Valjean.


A truly unique way to experience French literature, all in the most perfect of settings: an intimate neighborhood theatre in the very heart of Hugo's Paris. Under the sloped vaulted ceilings of the Essaion cave, prepare yourself for a journey back to Paris in the early 19th century.


A superb night out

Thanks to a really well written text and a magnificent performance, we dove back into the world of les Misérables but, this time, through the complex character of Jean Valjean. The one thing I wanted to to when I left the theatre was to rer

5 years ago
Beautiful and moving

I truly recommend this show. A wonderful text performed by a brilliant actor.

5 years ago
Our night with Jean Valjean

We witnessed a most superb one- man performance Friday evening at the Essaion - Valjean, Beyond Les Miserables. This was only the actor’s 6th or 7th performance in English. While I am, admittedly, a fan of Hugo and the Valjean character, the acto

5 years ago
An excellent evening

The performance and the writing are remarkable

5 years ago

An excellent actor, from the first few minutes, he brings us on a journey. From the beginning to the end, it's captivating. A must see!

Gillou P
5 years ago

The actor doesn't just play Jean Valjean, he is Jean Valjean! This show is a magnificent dive into the world of Victor Hugo. After the show all you want to do is read or reread the story. Bravo!

Huron P
5 years ago

Théâtre Essaïon

6 rue Pierre au lard, 75004 Paris

History and Fun Facts about Théâtre Essaïon

A truly hidden Parisian treasure, the Théâtre Essaïon is the result of a clashing of ages. In the 1970, a contemporary theatre troupe established this local playhouse in a medieval vaulted cave, deep in the depths of central Paris. Be transported back in time as you enter this unique venue in the old basement of what was once a luxorious Parisian hotel.


With its vaulted stone ceilings, this venue includes 2 intimate stages, and its varied show program includes not only historical pieces but also cabarets, musical theatre, and performances for the youth of the Marais. Explore the backstreets of one of the oldest districts in Paris to discover this hidden underground gem!

Fast facts
Capacity: 102
Handicap Accessible: Unfortunately, no. This underground venue is accessible only via staircase.
Air conditioning: No, but as it is underground, this venue is naturally cool!
Heating: Yes


Is the show accessible to English speakers?

The show is originally performed in French, the language of Victor Hugo himself. But luckily the bilingual actor has decided to hold a weekly performance 100% in English, so everyone can appreciate the story of Valjean, hero of Les Miserables.

How do I get to the theatre?

The Théâtre Essaion is located in the very heart of the city, accessible by lines 1 and 11, and the closest metro stations are Hôtel de Ville and Rambuteau. Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theatre weekdays from 10 am to 7pm Paris time. For details, we invite you to consult the map below.

What do I do when I get to the theatre?

We invite you to arrive 15 minutes before the beginning of the show, and present your voucher at the front desk. The theatre's English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats.

Can I purchase a programme?

Tickets for Valjean, beyond Les Misérables do not include a programme.

How long does the show last?

The show lasts one hour and fifteen minutes with no intermission.

Is it a show for travelers or French people?

Both! Valjean, beyond Les Misérables has been appreciated by French audiences for years, and we're thrilled the team has decided to transform the show into a bilingual work of art! Performances 100% in English mean everyone can be transported back to the world of Victor Hugo.

Is tipping customary?

The Essaion is a very small theatre with open seating. It is therefore not expected that you will tip the usher. However, if you feel like rewarding a very nice welcoming host, please note that ushers will usually expect 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.”