Lilies On The Land (2023), Royal Scots Club, Review

Black and white photo of three land girls pictured with hoes, in a field
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Arkle Theatre Company
Sarah Finch (Playwright); Kate Stephenson (Director, Costumes); John Weitzen (Lighting); Craig Robertson, Rob Shields (Sound)
Alison Porter (Poppy); Lyndsay Kennedy (Peggy); Beth McLean (Margie); Sinead Gray (Vera)
Running time

Telling stories of the Women’s Land Army from WWII, Lilies On The Land was written from original letters and interviews with Land Girls. The four-strong cast play four main characters, but also smaller characters along the way, with some acapella singing from the period helping to set the atmosphere. For those who have never heard of Land Girls, these were women who, while men were away at war, were working on the land, many for the first time. Knowing that these are real life stories makes the premise intriguing.

The costumes and make-up are perfect for the era and set the scene well. There is a great deal of exposition, however. Because of the style of writing, there is a lot of back and forth between different characters and this makes the text seem disjointed at times. This means that sometimes it is tricky to work out which character is which, and what the line is connecting with emotionally and textually. The four actors have varying levels of skill with some clearly more experienced than others. 

Director Kate Stephenson has challenged these actors with the roles, but the cast is clearly giving it their all. There were some moments of charged emotion. Unfortunately, one of the actors in particular spoke so quickly and quietly for much of the play, that a lot of what she said – and therefore connected to - was missed which is incredibly disappointing. This review occurred on the first day of the show run so it may be that this will be ironed out further along the run.

There were many moments of humour and sharing these stories of women and how war changed them is fascinating, so the subject is likely to appeal to many.

Show Time: 14-19 August @ 18:30

Royal Scots Club

Ticket Prices: £15

Accessibility: Wheelchair access type: Building Lift; Stairs: 20+; Age: 12+