Lilies On The Land

A play by The Lions Part
Produced by Fresh Glory Productions
Directed by Sonia Ritter
Liverpool Everyman
7th - 9th April 2011

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is an affectionate and poignant tribute to the invaluable role of the Women's Land Army (The Land Girls) during the Second World War.

The play is based on hundreds of letters from, and detailed interviews, with original Land Girls, together with excerpts of songs of the period and snatches of famous (or in the case of 'Bomber Harris') infamous radio broadcasts. Harris spoke about the bombing of Dresden as being part of an "experiment". Chilling.

Although the role of the Land Girls was romanticised to some extent, their work was often back-breaking and unpleasant, working in all sorts of extreme weather, including blistering heat and in snow- ridden fields. and shoveling manure and deep mud.

There are a wide range of human emotions and experiences evoked in the production.

From humour - with Peggy (Kali Peacock) being the most comical - especially in her attempts to plough a field without her glasses- to more serious times, involving sexual harrassment by Italians POW's bullying and acute home sickness.

The outstanding four-women cast (who all interplay different characters - men and women) deliver their lines with panache, with their choreography being equally impressive. the scene when they all tobogganed down a hill was very funny.

To finish on a sad note, the sterling efforts of the Women's Land Army was only officially recognised with medals in 2008.

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