Words: Pamela Price
The historic theatrical structure, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, has endured its struggles with survival. Now thriving under the direction of Micheline Rozan and Peter Brook, the two picked the theatre out of a shambles in 1974 and transformed the classic venue for a long future of top-class performances.
Like most classical theatres in Europe, this one was meant for Opera. For a short time in the early twentieth century the theatre was renamed Théâtre Molière, where new playwrights work-shopped their pieces before being shutdown once more until Rozan and Brook scooped the the stage up for their own theatrical experiments.
Brook’s influences stem from Brecht and Artaud, which explain his need for an experimental relationship with the audience and the actors. Though Bouffes du Nord is stacked with balcony seating and a tall dome setting, the proscenium thrust stage allows the actors to break the fourth wall and play in the audience’s space. The architecture is rustic with its series and registers of roman arches. If you’re sitting down below, you will drop your jaw as you look up towards the decorative swirling ceiling.
You can take yourself back to the classics and reserve a night at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord for a performance of Jean Racine’s tragedy, Andromaque. It will surely be a night of dramatics in a grandiose, yet intimate setting.
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
37 bis, bd de la Chapelle, 10th
Ph: 01 46 07 34 50
Métro: La Chapelle (2)