La Nouvelle Seine

La Nouvelle Seine (The New Seine) is a theatre, café and restaurant on a ship that is anchored on the Left Bank of the Seine, just across from Notre-Dame.

La Nouvelle Seine

I don’t know how they got permission to anchor here, but it’s a fantastic setting, just across from 3, quai de Montebello with a great view of the cathedral.

The front half of the ship is a small café, which is somewhat grotty in a nautical sort of way, but of course it also has a great view of the cathedral.

Then you can go up a few steps to get to their restaurant, which is small so a reservation is definitely recommended. I’ve never eaten there, but the menu is on their website http://www.lanouvelleseine.com/ and it doesn’t look especially expensive.

Under the restaurant is their theatre, which amazingly enough seats 110 people very comfortably and has a state of the art lighting and sound system. The picture on the left is a professional photo from their website, and the one on the right is a fuzzy one that I took with my little camera before the show started, while people were still phoning and checking their e-mails and whatnot.

La Nouvelle Seine specializes in French comedy acts, which are notoriously difficult for us poor foreigners to understand, especially for people like me whose French listening comprehension hovers at B2 level. Sometimes I find myself completely lost, and when that happens my strategy is to shift back a gear and just try to identify single words or phrases. (This is what I also suggest to my students who are learning English.)

Often I can understand most of what is being said, up to but not including the punchlines of the jokes. So I know what the situation is but not what everyone is laughing about. This is of course a bit frustrating, but is in the nature of comedy, since to make people laugh you have to say something they weren’t expecting.

To remedy this, I try to see each act more than once. When I was in Paris in April 2017 La Nouvelle Seine was showing a one-woman stand-up comedy show by Olivia Moore called Mère Indigne (Unworthy Mother), which I happened to have seen in Belfort a few months earlier. So I booked a ticket online (for 21 Euros), hoping I would understand more the second time, which in fact I did. Also it helped that I had listened to her on YouTube occasionally in the meantime.

La Nouvelle Seine at night after the show

 

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