As with previous Feral productions, Hush Now Hidden Women, which runs until Saturday in and around Cathedral Close, shines a light on a different side of Hereford, shifting the perspective until it looks like a different city ….

Arriving at No 1 Castle Street, the audience looked up to see a woman/girl in white standing, still as a stone, in each of the windows, while in Cathedral Close young women, all dressed in white, pushed empty prams around and around – and the scene was set, Feral style. Under the direction of Estelle van Warmelo, all four walls of conventional theatre were once again broken to bring us in and involve us in the drama that unfolded. As the city’s ordinary life carried on around us, we found ourselves inside a unique experience.

Here, the previously untold stories of women who passed through the doors of Hereford’s mother and baby homes were given lyrical voice, as we moved from one location to another, from one era to another – from the late 19th century to the 1960s – but with a common thread running throughout. Along the way we met the girl seduced by her choirmaster, the sister entangled with her brother, a woman tightly bound in a menage a trois … all falling pregnant and – unmarried - all perceived by society to have fallen.

Hidden from sight, lost to time, writer Sara-Jane Arbury has brought nine of these women’s stories into the light, each of them given the name of a wildflower. The stories were found in the archives and have been expanded into beautiful poems, each one sung by a different member of the talented cast – in a laundry, in a cellar, on a street corner – the words and the intimacy combining to bring the stories sharply alive as these sad, solitary women sang their stories of incest, rape, love, loss and grief.

Hush Now comes to an end in the Powell Theatre, where tiny clothes hang poignantly on washing lines strung backwards and forwards across the stage, and, together, the nine women and the rest of the company reprise snatches of the songs, alone and together, their voices joining to ensure that these women’s stories will not be forgotten, their experiences no longer hidden, their losses recognised and mourned.

Hush Now Hidden Women runs until Saturday, June 1. To book tickets, call the box office at The Courtyard on 01432 340555 or visit