‘À la perchoine’ (which means ‘till we meet again’ in Guernsey French) is a community theatrical, musical and visual depiction of the evacuation of island schoolchildren prior to Guernsey’s occupation by troops from Germany in 1940. It was the brainchild of two local teachers and was originally staged in 1990 and repeated in 1995.
Accompanied by teachers and volunteers, around 4,700 pupils prepare to leave with a small case of belongings and a packed lunch. The journey by boat and train eventually takes them to holding centres in church halls and civic buildings where, one by one, they are offered homes with ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’. The expectation of a swift repatriation is soon shattered and the children settle into a new routine, going to school and often meeting up with fellow evacuees from the Channel Islands.
Red Cross messages occasionally provide news from home, but it is five long years before their island home is liberated and they can return to be reunited with loved ones.
The cast for the 2020 production is drawn from Guernsey schools supported by the resources and talents of GADOC, the Guernsey Youth and Community Theatre and the Guernsey Music Service. The production is to be jointly directed by Martine Wallbridge and Tim Langlois with musical direction in the hands of composer Martin Cordall.
Performances will take place at Beau Sejour Leisure Centre on 14th, 15th and 16th May, provisionally due to start at 7.00pm. On Saturday 16th May there will be two performances, with the first due to take place at 2.00pm, and the final at 7.00pm.
Price and booking instructions to be confirmed!