Theatre

Paris, at Five Minutes to Midnight

The best free performance in Paris took place in a large bookshop just off the Place Saint-Michel. On the first floor, near the history books, a young African queen gives a performance worth considering for a French Molière. In the crowded bookshop his job seems to be directing traffic and dealing with book queries. He is in total control of his captive, browsing audience and plays broadly with a voice that can be heard in every part of the store. As we enter he is languidly berating several young scarf-covered women who have sought his assistance. “Mademoiselles,” he scolds, “I…

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