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Paris Tales - French improv


“This is not a show, this is a robbery. We are not here to entertain you, we are here to steal your hearts.

Paris Tales is a showcase of French improv performed by the Parisian Gentlemen of Paris. The show is a collection of hilarious improvised scenes - all inspired by Paris - with elements of storytelling, clown, poetry… and a delightful touch of absurdity!

Also included: heavy flirting with members of the audience. Oui, oui!

Come join three real parisians on a journey to explore the clichés and the harsh truths of old Paname. Become intoxicated with the characters and the atmospheres of the eternal City of Light. Stay with us for an hour, or for a lifetime, as we share with you the secrets of our beloved hometown… Paris.

Group bio


The Parisian Gentlemen of Paris
Fun. Fascinating. French.

With more than 40 years of combined stage experience, the Parisian Gentlemen of Paris is a team of veteran parisian improvisers created for the purpose of showcasing french improv internationally.

Grounded in the heritage of classic and contemporary french theatre, Québec-style improv (”Le Match d’Impro”) and influences from Keith Johnstone and american longform, they are renowned for their “generous and patient” style of improvisational theatre, their charm and their stage presence.

The Parisian Gentlemen of Paris have already fallen in love with Vancouver (Valentine’s Day Massacre 2012), Seattle (SFIT 2012) and Honolulu (Improvaganza 2013), and can’t wait to meet the gorgeous people of your city!

The Parisian Gentlemen of Paris is one of those unique shows where the sublime and the farcical meet.
—Garrick Paikai, Executive Producer, Improvaganza (Hawaii)

Paris Tales was captivating and utterly charming! I’ve seen a million scenes, and I’ll never forget these!
Michael Jon Christensen, Director, Wing-It Productions (Seattle)

So great to see your different sensibility, your different approach, so new and yet so rooted in theatre, good theatre.
—Michael Robinson, Vancouver TheatreSports League

If you’re interested in booking us for your theatre, festival or event,
please send us an email at

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The Parisian Gentlemen of Paris are:

Ian Parizot

Ian is a Parisian improviser who started improvising in 2004 with the local “Match d’Impro” (Québec-style) scene. He quickly started exploring other styles and ended up training extensively with Keith Johnstone. He co-founded Eux, an improv group which pioneered the promotion of new formats in France and got to perform around the country but also internationally in Stockholm, Atlanta, Chicago, Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle and Honolulu. Ian is currently Artistic Director of Again! Productions (Theatresports Paris). On stage, he is “this very solid but also kind of mischievious improviser”.


Ouardane is a Parisian improviser who started impro by performing “Match d’Impro” for several years. Following the intuition that something was missing, he researched different styles and formats, by taking as many workshops (Keith Johnstone, Patti Stiles, Rob Reese…) and reading as many improv books as he could. Keith Johnstone and Del Close constitute some major influences. His main interest is in storytelling, emotions and truthfulness. Performing in many different groups and hungry for meeting new people, on stage he is “this generous improviser that you have a delightful time with”. Ouardane is one of the founders of Smoking Sofa, a group characterized by its elegance and specializing in directed improvisation.


Florian started improv back in 1994 during high school in Germany and later founded his first improv troupe during his university years. After arriving in France 1999, he founded the Impro Academy and The Improfessionals. Ever since he has been teaching and playing joyfully on stages, international festivals, shows all over Europe and for a while in Lima (Peru). He specializes in directed improv, sincere long form and musical impro and was trained several times by Keith Johnstone, Mick Napier, Patti Stiles, Shawn Kinley, Steve Jarand, Tim Orr, Barbara Scott, Ira Seidenstein, etc… He played with La Gata, Rapid Fire Theatre, Naborov, LATS, etc… and acted in several plays such as the famous “La Ronde” (by Schnitzler). On stage, he is “this absolutely charming but completely unpredictable improviser”. At night, he also creates performances-readings of erotic poetry in German language.


As teachers, the Parisian Gentlemen of Paris have hundreds of hours of teaching experience in France and abroad. They are passionate about sharing the fruit of their experience (and experiments) on stage and creating both safe and challenging environments for students to learn, experiment and grow. Here are some workshops that the group can offer.

Charm, stage presence and audience seduction
The skill of charming, interacting and sometime manipulating an audience (or as the saying goes, having them “in the palm of your hand”) is a powerful one, particularly in the performing arts. In improvisation, audience interaction is often limited to gathering suggestion or getting a volunteer on stage and is often seen as “not real scenes”. But these moments are as much part of the show as everything else, and can often become the most memorable part of the show. Interacting with the audience is an art. As foreign performers, with a less than perfect use of the English language, we (The Parisian Gentlemen) have found ourselved more than once relying on the simple trick of seducing the audience. You could even say that this is at the core of what we do. Based on years of experimentation, this workshop aims at giving you tools and changing how you see the audience, from a risk and a potential judge to a giant happy beast to be seduced and tamed.

What is the scene about? Improv for analytical people
As improvisers, we often hear that we should not “get into our heads”. Spontaneity does great until… until it doesn’t and we’re back in our heads. This is a great time to switch to analytical mode, and figure out quickly what you need to do next. A lot of us are analytical people, and we use our brains in most of our daily lives to analyze situations and make rational decisions. Also, as teachers, we have observed that many improvisers come from a scientific background. If you’re on the backline, teaching a workshop, directing the scene, or in the scene and you’re in you head, why not exploit this raw power to make our scenes better? This workshop aims at tapping into the power of your rational brain to make your scenes more focused and more “tight”. We will do scenes and consult regularly with each other to see how asking the right questions can help you make the most interesting scenic choices. Here are some questions we will ask: “Who is the hero of the scene?”, “What does the scene need?”, “What does the audience want?” and “What is the scene about?”

French improvisation: main influences and theories

Generous and patient improvisation

How to make short form that doesn’t look like short form

Danger in improvisation or the art of blowing up the show

Commitment: how to never drop what you do

Your brain isn’t your enemy: improv lessons from a PhD in biology

Improvise in French / Improvisez en français

We can offer directed improvisation sessions (jams) and workshop in French for francophones wanting to brush up on their French. Improvisation is an extremely useful tool for learners who want to practice the language in a safe and exciting environment.

By experience, these sessions are also extremely useful for improvisers who want to get out of their comfort zone by improvising in another language.

Past features


Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival 2014 (Austin)


Improvaganza Hawaii Festival of Improv 2013


Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre 2012


Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre 2012 (Vancouver)


 The Parisian Gentlemen of Paris is one of those unique shows where the sublime and the farcical meet. Collectively the “Gentlemen,” are master of their format and are true to their Euro impro roots; their use of physicality, characters work, and storytelling is a sight to behold. But their show is more than what I have mentioned above. Like a scene from one of Moliere farces the Parisian Gentlemen of Paris are cleverly showing the audience the follies of misconceptions in a lighthearted playful manner. I was tremendously pleased at this group, they were extremely professional and really good improvisers. They showed up to their call on time and got along with all the improvisers in the Festival. If there is any American Improv festival Producers out there looking for a great group to perform at their festival consider hosting the Parisian Gentlemen of Paris.

- Garrick Paikai, Executive Producer, Improvaganza (Hawaii) - [FULL REVIEW]

Parisian Gentlemen of Paris was the first time I’d seen them. Or any show from France. Nice fun scenework while playing up the France angle. A really fun show without being gimmicky. The saturday show was somehow even better than Thursday. The three gentlemen from Paris had a really good energy with the crowd and made some good scenes. Oh, and I love a group that isn’t afraid to let one scene be ten minutes and the next scene be 30 seconds. Kudos.

- Bill Binder, Galapagos (Phoenix) - [Link]

This French trio did short loose scenes based on direct interaction with individual audience members. They focused largely on garnering ask-fors that were based on American’s perceptions of Paris and France. Their scenes then undercut these perceptions. The show had a couple of stealth short-form games. They embraced fully developed characters and a delightful sense of the absurd. They were the only show that I saw at the Festival that leaned more towards short form, but they didn’t play it in a way that telegraphed that to the audience. As far as anyone watching the show was concerned, it was solid, funny improvisation (with a really amazing opening sequence that dove straight into the heart of half a dozen French stereotypes). You can do a short form show in a very different way from “Whose Line” and make it work. Hurray for blowing up formulas!

- R. Kevin Garcia Doyle, On The Spot (Hawaii) - [Link]

Paris Tales was captivating and utterly charming! They have a generous and patient style of improv. I loved the scene with the extremely deep, tortured writer who we discovered was a waiter, and the chair scene with Picasso in the closet. I’ve seen a million scenes, and I’ll never forget these!

- Michael Jon Christensen, Director, Wing-It Productions (Seattle)

Paris! So great to see your different sensibility, your different approach, so new and yet so rooted in theatre, good theatre.

- Michael Robinson, Vancouver TheatreSports League (Vancouver)



(Click to access the photos, please contact us if you need promotional material.)


Seattle - February 17th, 2012 (Credits : Catherine Ozols)

Seattle - February 16th, 2012 (Credits : Catherine Ozols)

Paris - February 4th, 2012 (Credits : Canal Impro)