Art & Culture

Cabaret Lapin Agile – the keeper of Montmartre’s traditions

Time runs forward inexorably and old amusements have being changed by new ones, “globalization” influences too. Nevertheless, authentic places with their inimitable charm as yet exist – and Paris could not be Paris without them.

One of such places is the cabaret Agile Rabbit (Lapin Agile) in Montmartre.

There is no it in standard guide-books for tourists, but if you visit the Rabbit you will keep a piece of a true Paris in your soul forever.

The cabaret Lapin Agile stands out from usual frameworks. Here there is no a special stage for performers – as the guests, they seat at the tables and on the benches. And a bewitching semidarkness creates an atmosphere of the past reminding Montmartre’s bohemian times.

The ground floor of the cabaret – a small hall for guests and a cloakroom. The main action is going on upstairs, in a rather small hall as well.

So, by what the cabaret Lapin Agile attracts its audience? French folk songs, popular hits of the famous performers – from Edith Piaf to Joe Dassin and Charles Aznavour. And all this happens to the accompaniment of accordion, guitar and piano.

At the cabaret, there are no microphones, speakers and other modern equipment. Musicians play, singers sing, and the audience supports them by voices. In the pauses between songs, the verses sound, the actors show the short plays.

The cabaret Lapin Agile was established in 1795 (as a tavern The Thieves’ Meeting) and nowadays is one of the oldest amusement places in Paris.

Going here, do not forget to have a lunch, because at Lapin Agile there is no food – it has not to draw your attention away from a vivid action. But the drinks there are here – the first one (as usual, it’s a homemade cherry liqueur) even included in the ticket price.

How to find the cabaret Lapin Agile? Look for it on the northern side of the top Montmartre. An old building with a rabbit with a bottle of wine on the wall. The name of the cabaret is written too.

Address of the cabaret Lapin Agile: 22 Rue des Saules, Paris 75018.

Ticket: 28 Euro, for students – 20.

Picture: Le Lapin Agile (1938), Maurice Utrillo