Theatres in République and Oberkampf
What was once the HQ of France’s metallurgy union is now a hotbed of culture offering gallery and performance space to both up-and-coming and confirmed artists. Depending on the day, La Maison des Métallos (just south of Ménilmontant in the heart of a North African quarter) offers everything from slam and photography, to experimental film, dance and théâtre. There are also streams of urban culture workshops for teenagers, including highly coveted digital art sessions. All this cultural activity is rather fitting: the building started out as a musical instrument factory in 1881, renowned for its brass creations. It was here that Paris’ jazz musicians, many fresh off the boat from the USA , came to buy their instruments.
- 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11e
- Price band: 2/4
Halfway between Bastille and République, A la Folie Théâtre was established in a former printer’s in 1990. A friendly neighbourhood outfit, the bill is eclectic, covering classical repertoire as well as contemporary texts, comedy and serious theatre. It’s a very good place for kids, as well, with numerous shows put on for youngsters from 1 and up. The theatre also organises workshops and internships run by professional theatre people, open to young and old alike.
- 6 rue de la Folie-Méricourt, 11e
- Rated as: 3/5
- Price band: 3/4
Lady Gaga played in this Art Déco style music hall before she was famous, and now streams of artists (both up-and-coming and confirmed) grace the stage for concerts that include pop-rock, slam, chanson française and a sprinkling of jazz and heavy metal. The venue holds between 600 and 800 people, so it’s the perfect size for atmospheric, but intimate gigs. It's also in a top spot for a post-concert night out along the Canal St-Martin.
- 21 rue Yves Toudic, 10e
- Price band: 2/4
- Critics choice
This circus has been in the same family for decades. It now has a new façade to match its revamped interior, and crowds flock for its twice-yearly seasons (including the Winter Circus from October to March) which include tigers, horses and very silly clowns.
- 110 rue Amelot, 11e
- Price band: 1/4
La Ménagerie de Verre is an edgy multidisciplinary arts centre (set in a former printing works), rooted in the avant-garde, with performances that mix theatre, dance, video and contemporary art. Director, Marie-Therese Allier, calls this ‘the research laboratory’, so you get the gist: the more experimental the better. There are regular workshops too, taught by a stream of respected international artists, so check the website for the up-to-the-minute programme.
- 12-14 rue Léchevin, 11e