The story of
Théâtre Basse Passière
In 2010, I purchased a farmhouse with a courtyard of imposing stone farm buildings in Préaux-du-Perche in Le Perche Normandy: a conservation area of rural and architectural beauty, 1.5 hours from Paris. I knew and loved the area well, my daughter having attended primary schools in the area so she could learn French. For years I would stand in the most imposing of the stone buildings, look up at the beautiful timber framework and tell myself “this should be a theatre”.
In 2018 I decided the moment had come to start putting this dream into reality. Time was passing and if I did not do the conversion then it would be too late in my lifetime. In November 2018 I set off from the UK with the car packed with friends (including an architect) to look at the logistics. My friendly architect drew up some rudimentary plans; some financial budgetary estimates were worked out on the back of an envelope (not a recommended means of budgeting!), and the project was launched.
These beautiful farm buildings appear to have lain dormant
since their agricultural past, and the aim was not only to
preserve them, but to give them a new lease of life.
After a lifetime working in child protection and criminal justice, I felt it was time to enjoy the world of theatre, opera, dance, and the aesthetics of old buildings.
The dream was on its long and tortuous way to being realised!
- Jenny Hemans,