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Lilies on the Land

The making of Lilies on the Land

Pauline as a land girl

In response to an article about a project to create a play about the Women's Land Army in Saga Magazine. the Lions part received 140 letters from former Land Girls. The replies created an astonishingly vibrant and moving picture of their experiences. Many of these extraordinary letters contained photographs, which you can see here.View original WWII photos.

Pauline now

We also took plenty of photos while Lilies was being devised, both in our meetings with Land Girls, and in the studio. View photos of Lilies in development.

The headshots above show Pauline Whelch, in her Land Army days, and at one of our meetings.

The Lilies Cast

The outcome was the play called
Lilies on the Land .

Lilies on the Land is a truly remarkable piece of theatre which celebrates an extraordinary episode in Britain's history -

the Women's Land Army of World War II.

Gripping, moving and charming tales, the play charts the personal journeys of four women who sign up to become Land Girls, determined to work endless, backbreaking hours on farms across the country in a bid to do their best for the war effort.

But how will these women, hailing from all different walks of life, torn from their families and bereft of all basic home comforts, deal not only with the hardships of farming life and the pressures of war, but also with being outsiders in new surroundings? Work clothes full of mice and toilet rolls falling from the skies are just what it takes for these girls to get along.

Based on hundreds of letters from and interviews with the original Land Girls, Lilies on the Land is a revealing, funny, wonderfully moving and utterly captivating portrait of some of Britain's pluckiest, unsung heroes. Simply unmissable, this is theatre at its most memorable.

If you would like to

mount a production or buy a script of


please contact:

Tamara von Werthern
Performing Rights Manager

Nick Hern Books
The Glasshouse, 49a Goldhawk Road
London W12 8QP
Tel. 020 8749 4953


Lilies on the Land became a unique theatrical tribute to the women of the 'Forgotten Army'. For two years the production toured to the heart of local communities where it was received with passion and enthusiasm by audiences of all ages. On tour it captured the hearts of audiences nationwide and played to 96% capacity audiences, was extended and managed to earn its keep without subsidy.

It was published by Nick Hern Books to coincide with the West End production.

In 2010 we played the Arts Theatre West End London:

The Daily Telegraph

The Times

The Londonist


In 2011 -2012 Lilies on the Land toured England. We met so many of the women who became Land Girls: a great honour and a joyful experience all round!

Powerfully truthful, absolutely accessible, rich in emotion, and glowing with laughter...
- Peter Cheeseman CBE, former Artistic Director New Vic Theatre, Stoke

Magnificent and very moving - a lovely mixture of poignancy and humour.
- Joan Clifford (WLA 0101337) turns funny, moving and tragic - always a compelling insight into what it was really like to be 'on the land'
- Eastbourne Today

A performance we simply didn't want to end - The Sussex Herald

2011 Tour included

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
Darlington Arts Centre
Key Theatre, Peterborough
The Theatre, Chipping Norton
Theatre Royal, Windsor
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Margate Theatre Royal
Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
Arts Theatre, Cambridge

2012 Tour Included

Basingstoke Haymarket Theatre
Theatre Royal, York
Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
Ark Theatre, Borehamwood
Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon
Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough
Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
Hull Truck Theatre, Hull
Customs House, South Shields
Corn Exchange, Newbury
Farnham Maltings, Farnham
Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Download LILIES London production flier >>

Lilies on the land production information

View Lilies show image >>

The original land girls in a promo shot, with sheaves of corn                                The cast of Lilies on the Land in the same location, with sheaves of corn

   The original land girls in a promo shot                    The cast of Lilies on the Land in the same location

Our grateful thanks to the following former Land Girls and their relatives: we have been overwhelmed by their generosity in sharing with us their memories, photos, songs, poems, and even their treasured uniforms!

Dorothy Abbott, Stuart Antrobus, Audrey M Baker, D U Ball, Norah Barnsley, Sylvia Barton, Yvonne Bazeley, Phyllis Benham, Johanna Benn, Mary Bentley, Marguerite Bettles, Charles C Bogart, Betty Bowler, Emily Braidwood, Ruby Brass, Ruth Bridge, Sheila Brooks, Daphne M Byrne, Olive Cameron-Black, Marita Carr, Brenda Chapman, Joan Clifford, Wynne Conway, Violet Cowley, Cecilia Marie Cox, R W Cundale, Joan Davies, Kathleen Devereux Craven, Eve Diet, F I Eakins, Marion Eyre, Brenda Flint, Vera-Jaye Footer, R Franklin, Lynette French, Mrs Gillman, Pauline M Godfrey, Ivy Goodall, J V Greenhowe, Winifred Griffiths, Marjorie Hall, Kathleen Harriss, Marjorie Harvey, D F Hawkes, Joan Heatley, Doreen Holliday, Mary Holmes, M G Holmes, Nesta Hoyle, Doris Jerrison, N Johnson, Frank Jolliffe, Shirley Joyner, K S Kenrick, M E Kilner, Olga King, Mary Knight, Pam Lampard, Evelyn Lavin, Lily Limbert, Elizabeth Lowe, Kate Lowe, Norah M Walls, Betty Marsh, Eileen Mayson, Pamela McDowell, Kathleen McKinnon, Mary McLelland, Ann Mehose, Kathleen Meredith, Margaret Middleton, Joan Molesworth, Nora Mollon, Jane Neave, Dorothy Nelson, Peg Newman Francis, Joan Norman, Gwen Norman, Ennis Nosko-Smith, Dorothy O'Connell, Nona Pallett, Brenda Parfitt, Jean Patterson, M Paulley, Yvonne Pearce, D M Peskett, Clare Pierson, Thora E Pitman, Dorothy W Platts, Margie Prest, Jean Prior, Gwen Rae, Doris 'Billie' Reeg, Sylvia Richards, Pamela Ruffoni, Phyllis Sharp, Mary Smith, Edna Smy, Betty Spridgeon, J Steel, Mary Stokes, Barbara Stone, June Stonebridge, Jeanette Street, M Swaffer, Ruth M Swift, Terri Taylor, Jane Thomas, Joyce M Tilley, Norah Turner, Jean Wagner, Grace Wallace, Margaret Watford, Kathleen Watson, Joyce Watson, Ruth Weaver, Jackie Webb, Daphne Webster, Margaret Wegg, Margaret West, N E Wheeler, Pauline Whelch, Peggy White, B I Wilkinson, Edna Williams, Audrey Witney, P A Woolley, and those who wrote to us without giving their name.