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LE GUIGNOL DU LUXEMBOURG
An authentic puppet theatreParis
Jardin du luxembourg
To warm yourself up after you’ve been rolling in the leaves, head for the legendary ‘Guignol’ (puppet show) in the Luxembourg gardens. The Desarthis family have been entertaining crowds with their traditional puppets in this old-fashioned mini theatre, since 1933! The shows are unforgettable, the kids love them and so do the grown-ups.
Paris with the children
The wonderful tradition of ‘Guignol’ (the French version of the British Punch & Judy) has continued generation after generation in the Luxembourg gardens. These gardens also contain tennis courts, sand pits, a play park, an exotic glasshouse, beehives, ponies, swings, roundabouts and the Senate (spot the odd one out!).
Every performance in this little puppet theatre is full of happy, screaming little darlings in the front rows and adults at the back of the auditorium, squashed on to benches which are resolutely too small for them. The programme varies, with hilarious interpretations of classic children’s stories such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Puss in Boots” or “Pinocchio” revisited by Guignol. The mischievous puppet is an iconic figure of French cultural heritage and a descendent of La commedia dell’arte.
In this age of video games on IPADs and 3D films, the wonderful attraction which surrounds these beautiful puppets with their smug expressions is remarkable. Here the monsters are the big bad wolf and giants.
It’s a real breath of fresh air.
Opening times: Performances at 11am and 4pm
Open every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Public holidays and school holidays.
Price children and adults: 4.50 € per seat
Duration: Approximately 40 minutes with an interval.
Comfortable in working-class neighbourhoods and the tonier areas of Paris, I never get tired of rediscovering this timeless city. The Sex Pistols set the pace when I was younger. New technologies fill my working days now. My little extra: discovering fine eating spots around the capital for romantic dinners!