The Théâtre Monsigny is not just somewhere to see a show, it also says a lot about Boulogne-sur-Mer and its strong links with culture and artists. Built in 1827, when seaside resorts were the height of fashion, it illustrates the hustle and bustle which prevailed in the resort during the 19th century. It was during this era that Boulogne saw a luxurious casino built on the seafront, as well as its museum and festival hall. The theatre put on a different musical each week and an opera every month! It is named after the composer, Pierre Monsigny, who was a pioneer of comic opera and who was born in Fauquembergues, not far from Boulogne-sur-Mer.
A fabulous spot
Like many great buildings in Boulonnais, the Théâtre Monsigny has suffered the ravages of time and war. It has been redesigned many times - in 1860, 1955 and more recently in the 1990s. It has superb acoustics and puts on a varied programme. Fans of heritage and architecture will also be amazed by the building itself. The semi-circular, Italian-style auditorium has five levels decorated in the reds and gold of the Second Empire with Corinthian columns, balconies, galleries and French-style boxes. You never tire of admiring all the detail. Its façade is inspired by the Renaissance and includes bas-reliefs and roundels carved by John Hopkins.
An eclectic programme
Ever since the theatre has existed, internationally renowned artists have performed there (Sarah Bernhardt and the Coquelin brothers, who were famous comedians born in Boulogne-sur-Mer). Today, its programme is still varied and includes theatre, dance, opera, musicals, reviews in the local dialect and local groups. Since its last renovation in 2012, the Théâtre Monsigny can accommodate 737 people.