New Australian Musical, The Hen House, to Electrify the Stage in World Premiere at Riverside Theatres

Published by: Kabuku PR | 16-Aug-2023
A fierce and funny musical that pays homage to the stories of European migration and explores the dignity and comedy of the female working-class experience.
Venue: Riverside Theatres
Address: Corner of Church and Market St, Parramatta
Date: 7 to 9 September 2023
Ticket: Starting from $46
Call: 02 8839 3399
New Australian Musical, The Hen House, to Electrify the Stage in World Premiere at Riverside Theatres
PYT Fairfield and In Wild Company are thrilled to present the world premiere of The Hen House, a light-hearted, musical and story-rich homage to the inspirational and (sometimes) tragic lives of migrant female factory workers during the 70’s, on stage at Riverside Theatres Parramatta from 7 to 9 September.

Created by dynamic sibling trio Josipa Draisma (In Wild Company’s Ljubicica Wild Violet), Sime Kneževic (Philip Parsons Playwright Award Nominee) and Mara Kneževic (PYT Fairfield’s Playlist), and directed by Sydney Theatre Award-winner Anthea Williams (Belvoir’s Hir), The Hen House features original music by Zeljko Papic (Eurovision: Australia Decides Top 20) inspired by 1970s Australian pub rock.

Inspired by the lived experience of Josipa, Sime and Mara’s late grandmother, The Hen House weaves together extraordinary, humorous, and tragic multi-lingual stories of female migrant factory workers from Western Sydney with distinctly live and loud music played by an electrifying all-female rock band, The Hen House elevates diverse women’s voices as powerful and hugely significant to Australia’s social and economic history.

It’s 1976. Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’ is No.1 on the Charts. Industries are booming, and it’s migrant women who are cashing in. Pavica, a young Croatian mother is dressed in her crisp white uniform, smiling proudly on the production line, elbows deep in chicken carcasses, loving her job and her new Australian life.

Mila, however, does NOT love her job. In fact, she despises it. The screaming chooks, screeching machines, not to mention the tenosynovitis that plagues the production line. For her, this factory is a hell house. Mila is hellbent on taking this chicken business, and ripping it to bits.

Pavica and Mila see so much potential in their new lives in Australia, however the management of the rough-as-guts factory-floor are yet to see the potential in them. In the world of chicken processing, migrant women are rendered dispensable, invisible and voiceless. That is, until they start to hear their own voice.

Founder and Creative Director of In Wild Company, Josipa Draisma said, “Celebrating the lives of migrant women of my grandmother’s generation is an important part of recognising the impact these women made, paving the way for opportunities and livelihoods for many including myself to this very day. The Hen House advocates for audiences to experience these stories as extraordinary ‘herstory’ and invites us to see migrant women in a very different way - ambitious, capable, and resilient.”

Following the world premiere at Riverside Theatres, The Hen House will tour to Camden Civic Centre from 13 to 14 September, Orange Civic Centre on 16 September, the Art House Wyong on 20 September and the Concourse Pavllion Chatswood on 22 September.

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