The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society | The Intervention
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The Intervention

Victor Hugo wrote many of his greatest works on the island of Guernsey, a small British dependency 20 miles off the coast of France, now famous as the home of ‘The Potato Peel Society.’ Hugo was in exile, but despite his grief for his family and his homeland he was inspired by the beauty of the rocky landscape and seas that surrounded him to produce magnificent novels – including Les Misérables – artworks, poetry, and theatre. The plays he wrote in Guernsey, collectively known as Theatre in Freedom, were not performed or published during his lifetime. They are little known outside France and have never been performed in English. Our aim is to produce one of them, The Intervention, for the first time in English and in the place where it was written in 1866 – Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Who is involved?


The play is being translated and produced by The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society, a group of volunteers, mostly anglophone, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of the life and works of Victor Hugo and his family, and especially of his time in the Channel Island of Guernsey. We are a charity and rely on the goodwill of our members and of our many supporters in the world of Hugo studies. The team of experienced translators, composers, producers, musicians, cast, crew and videographers are all local Guernsey people with theatrical and production expertise. The Society previously produced Soul of the Sea, a highly successful version of The Toilers of the Sea, Hugo’s novel set in Guernsey, written by a local author with a cast of very young local actors, and we expect to repeat and exceed that success with The Intervention.


The impact: Victor Hugo is for everybody!


The Intervention is a tragi-comedy with a social conscience. It is written as a vaudeville, a theatrical style very popular in the 1860s in France. A one-act play in five scenes, while its dialogue is simple and direct, its themes are rich and complex. It was written for adults yet is suitable for children from around 14 upwards both to watch and to perform. It includes some song and dance, and as each of the scenes can be viewed as a separate playlet it is very suitable for school workshops. We have legacy very much in mind and are proud to be able to add this play to the English repertoire and to make the script freely available. In addition, the project is collaborative, with a digital archive of preparatory material making it suitable for further study. The play will be expertly filmed and uploaded to YouTube to stand proudly alongside French-language performances.




The play will be performed for the first time in English during the Conference on the Saturday night. To make this a truly Gala Event, the evening will open with 25 minutes of songs from Les Misèrables by Gadoc’s hugely successful cast, followed by an introduction to the play by Florence Naugrette, author of Theatre of Victor Hugo. With only 200 seats, this is bound to be a sell-out event.