A new production called The Hen House is premiering at Riverside Theatres Parramatta and will run from 7 – 9 September. Presented by PYT Fairfield and In Wild Company, this light-hearted musical pays homage to the inspirational and (sometimes) tragic lives of migrant female factory workers during the 70s. 

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, management of the rough-as-guts factory floor is 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. 

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

  • When: Thursday 7  September to Saturday 9 September 
  • Where: Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres – Corner of Church and Market St, Parramatta 
  • Tickets: Members tickets starting from $46 | Non-Members Tickets starting from $50 Book your tickets here or via phone (02) 8839  3399, or visit the Box Office Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9:30am – 1pm and one hour prior to performance.