The Secret Hen House Theatre
The financial strain on the farm in which Hannah Roberts lives underpins the story of ‘The Secret Hen House Theatre‘. From exorbitant rent increases, falling production payments, the real cost of sustainable farming, to demands on land for housing, the reader is made aware that the issues that concern Hannah and her farming family are real and frightening. At the conclusion of the story, when Hannah ‘feels’ the weight on her shoulders that she’s carried, we understand.
Throughout this, Hannah’s secret scheme to build a theatre on the farm, closely aided by best friend Lottie and thereafter the Beans (her younger sisters and brother) is compelling. Dodging bailiffs, rent inspectors, an obese sheep and the clutter and muck of a real farm setting, while reimagining and upcycling boldly, we are drawn in to the girls’ plans, and Hannah’s ambition.
This is a wonderful book. I loved reading it twice, while every reader to whom I’ve introduced it has been captivated. We recommend ‘The Secret Hen House Theatre‘ and its sequel The Farm Beneath the Water