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, at number 3, quai de Montebello, with a great view of the cathedral.

Café of the Nouvelle Seine

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.

Restaurant of the Nouvelle Seine

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 and it doesn’t look especially expensive.

Theatre of the Nouvelle Seine

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

My photos and text in this post are from 2017.

See more posts on theatres in Paris.
See also: Comedy in the House of the People in Belfort.

6 thoughts on “La Nouvelle Seine”

  1. Thanks, Alison. There’s no limit to the new things we can learn about Paris. I have just paid the deposit for a Jewish tour of the Marais district, based in a house where I lived on two separate visits in the 1960s.

  2. It’s so interesting that you and I have been in Paris at the same time more than once! I enjoy your posts and even though I feel like I know Paris very well, I always learn something from you. I will have to check out this boat/theatre/resto!

  3. Yes, I was quite surprised when I went down there. 110 seats are a lot for such a small space.

  4. Hi Don, Thanks for your travel update. Looks interesting, the cafe would be an ideal rest point for weary travellers. Great view of the cathedral! Mikebb

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