English language live theater is naturally a rare bird on the Cote d’Azur, but if you know where to look for it, you can find performances several times a year.
The highly esteemed Theatre National de Nice (TNN) often features English-language works, and the 2017 season features several productions in English (see blog post here), plus an entire series of freestyle Shakespeare adaptions called “Shake!”
They are starting an outreach to the English-speaking community, and as such are offering a killer deal: 3 plays for 21€… which makes a night at the theater cheaper than a movie!
Besides Battlefield, directed by theater legend Peter Brook (in English) from February 28-March 2, and La Grenouille Avait Raison (The Frog Was Right), a visually stunning performance that works in any language, from June 7-11, they suggest a few other plays that are in French but still easily accessible to all:
- Pinocchio (6th-8th April 2017) “A dazzling mix of trapeze and music”
- Fugue (28th-29th April 2017) Revolving around 3 scientists at the South Pole
- Sacré, sucré, salé (2nd-3rd June 2017) Three faiths, three feast days… every dish tells a story…
Reserve your 3-play pass at this can’t-miss price by calling the TNN Booking Helpline at 04 93 13 19 00, open from Tuesday to Saturday from 2pm to 7pm, or in person from the TNN Ticket Kiosk, conveniently located at the top of the Promenade du Paillon gardens (Tram stop Cathedrale), open Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 5pm.
The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco usually features one splashy big-budget
English-language musical per year, and in 2017 it’s Dirty Dancing! The show dates are July 11, 12, 14 and 15, 2017, and tickets range from 39€ to 69€. Previous years have included The Bodyguard, West Side Story, and Annie – The Musical.
The Nice Opera occasionally has operas in English as well. British composer Benjamin Britten is a particular favorite, and they produced Peter Grimes in 2015 and his Death in Venice in 2016, both in English, so there is a likelihood of another Britten soon to come…
The motto of the South of France English Theatre Company (SET) is “Bringing the West End to the Cote d’Azur”… and to that end they produce comunity theater productions of well-known rom-coms, mysteries, and musicals, and then tour them up and down the Riviera (Nice, Antibes, Monaco, Valbonne, Cannes…) They will literally be coming soon to a theater near you!