Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny

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We all know that French people can be more than rude with foreigners and with their fellow countrymen as well. But fortunately some of them are lucid enough to see how these faults can be a good reason for self-criticism and above all for bursts of laughter.

Olivier Giraud is one of them and attracts thousands of spectators to see his show called “How to become a Parisian in one hour”. This show actually is a survival guide for tourists in Paris and is entirely English spoken. Born in 1977this French artist has an unusual career: as a student he left the provinces to go to Paris to become a cook. In 2001 he left Paris to try his luck in the USA and worked in several hotels and restaurants and finally ended as first maitre d’hôtel in the famous luxury hotel “The Breakers” in Palm Beach, Florida.

But he got homesick and most of all he wanted to explore new horizons. So he came back to France to become an actor. After his American years he was struck by the cultural differences between French and Anglo-Saxon way of life and he started to write a text that soon became a hilarious show. Beginnings were difficult as one after the other all the theatre managers he met refused to put on a show in English in Paris! So in 2009 he created his own production-company called “French Arrogance Prod” and rented a small theatre. By word of mouth his show soon was a success.ParisianParisParis

The show is an intensive training to survive in French shops, restaurants, taxis or nightclubs… You will learn how to deliver French air kisses on cheeks: one “smack” on each cheek in Paris. You will know how to get the proper depressed behaviour on the metro. The way to deal with an arrogant sales assistant will have no more secrets for you. To get entrance into a swank nightclub you will learn the way to giggle hysterically!

In a few years over 450.000 spectators have seen this unique show and almost died laughing! At first Olivier Giraud expected to have only foreign spectators but many French people come to see him getting the feeling to be bilingual: talking about French arrogance!

As success came the show moved in 2012 in a larger theatre: the “Theatre des Nouveautés” in the 9th district in Paris where it will be on until June 2015. But if you don’t have the opportunity to go to Paris, Olivier Giraud will be on stage in London in the “Leicester Square Theatre” for a few performances on November 26th 2014, on March 25th 2015 and on the  May 13th 2015. In Paris you can see the show every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

“Théâtre des Nouveautés”: 24 Boulevard Poissoniéres  75009 Paris

www.theatredesnouveautes.fr

www.leicestersquaretheatre.com

Text © Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny

About Annick Dournes & Frederic De Poligny

Annick Dournes and Frederic de Poligny are two French tourism journalists who travel the world for many years. They will share with you their very favourite experiences of worldwide travels. Those about France, their native country, will be found on a regular basis in their chronicle "Meanderings through France".