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The world premiere of George explores a moment in the life and work of the 19th-century free spirit, George Sand, who subverted the social and literary norms of her time, challenged gender and sexual expectations, and fought for women’s rights.

Despite George Sand’s popularity as a writer in Europe, the show was created in response to the need for more awareness about her. It reimagines the romantic relationship between the two women and the creations of Sand’s ground-breaking play, Gabriel, a story about a young man who discovers that he was assigned the wrong gender at birth and how it transforms his life and sense of self.

George images supplied, credit Benjamin Graham

1839, Marseille, France

Famed writer George Sand faces creative block and financial struggles. Desperate for inspiration, she delves into her own intimate and perilous emotions to pen her most audacious work yet, the play “Gabriel”. Caught amidst her relationships, non-conformity, and societal pressures, she grapples with the question: To what lengths must she go to ensure her story is acknowledged?

“We’ve reinvented George Sand. I rediscovered her a few years ago: I knew about that writer, how she wore men’s clothes, had lovers of all genders, and seemed to live freely… and yet I hadn’t heard or read nearly as much about her as I did about her male contemporaries! I found a soul sister two centuries apart. Along the way, I found Gabriel (1839), which compiled everything that fascinated me about George Sand: her ground-breaking interrogations on gender, on women’s education, on equality, on sexuality… and I wanted to talk about her relationship with Marie Dorval. “The inseparables”, people called them. In the correspondence we have today, a few years are missing. And there isn’t much written around when she wrote Gabriel in Marseille in 1839… So, I thought: What if we could reimagine what happened then?” 

Léa des Garets, actor & writer

George runs until 14 July at Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London SW4 0QW, United Kingdom

About Léa des Garets

Léa des Garets

Léa is an award-winning actor, writer, and theatre-maker from France. She began her career in the performing arts as a co-founder of Night Train Theatre Company, debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe and touring in the UK and Ukraine. She was chosen as one of the 10 mentees for PROJEKT EUROPA’s EMPOWER mentorship program, which supports and promotes migrant theatre talent in the UK. Through her company, MQT Productions, Léa seeks to bring more visibility to often overlooked voices from the past and present, with a focus on international perspectives, female-led narratives, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

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