When the men joined up, the women had to do their bit for the war effort and the Lion’s part’s enjoyable new play does an excellent job of recreating what it was like to leave behind family, friends and flushing toilets to get mucky down on the farm during World War II.

Based on letters from, and interviews with, original Land Girls, this likeable celebration of the Women’s Land Army tells the story of four women who exchanged their skirts for regulation green jumpers and khaki dungarees.

No matter what their social background or where they came from (and most came from the towns and cities), they were expected to learn to plough and plant, get up at dawn and work till late to make sure that the cows were milked, the potatoes dug and the ewes safely lambed.

Upper class Poppy ditches her fashionable outfits and falls for a pilot; gay Vera, relishing the opportunity to wear trousers, finds affection from a fellow Land Girl; Margie gets a sad, solitary billet with an exploitative farmer before she’s moved to more congenial accommodation; and a rogue mouse finds its way down myopic Peggy’s ample cleavage.

Cleverly interweaving songs of the period with a wide range of experiences (both pleasant – dates and dances with Canadian servicemen, and unpleasant – the unwanted attentions of farm labourers and Italian POWs) director Sonia Ritter’s entertaining and informative production is engagingly performed and makes a well-deserved and belated tribute to the women who helped keep the country going when the doodlebugs threatened.

Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JB
Tube: Leicester Square
0845 017 5584
Until July 17