This February Northern Broadsides will bring their eagerly awaited, and rare revival, of J.M Barrie’s Quality Street. The production will premiere in Halifax at The Viaduct Theatre, a super underground performance space and home to the Northern Broadsides.
Quality Street will be Laurie Sansom’s debut production as Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides. It’s quite apt that the show will open in Halifax – the home of Quality Street – one of the UK’s most popular brand of chocolates, as the play was so popular in its day that it actually gave the chocolates their name. Following its hometown premiere, the production heads to The Lowry as the next date on the tour.
The play tells the story of Phoebe Throssel who runs a school for unruly children and lives on Quality Street, the busy centre of a quaint northern town.
Ten years have passed and following a tearful goodbye, one of Phoebe’s old flames, Captain Valentine, returns from fighting Napoleon. However, the look of disappointment on the Captain’s face when he greets a more mature, less glamorous Phoebe, spurs the loveable heroine right into action.
Adopting a younger alter-ego, she becomes the carefree and sparkling Miss Lily; her mission is to entrap the clueless Captain. But as their romance rekindles, is she able to juggle both personas? Or will her deception scandalise the town and wipe out any kind of future with the man she so dearly loves?
Jessica Baglow ( Hamlet, Jane Eyre and Educating Rita at Bolton Octagon) will take the title role of Phoebe Throssel and Dario Coates (The Rubenstein Kiss at Southwark Playhouse) will play her love interest, Captain Valentine Brown.
This show marks the beginning of a new production model for the Northern Broadsides. Each production will be co-created with the local community. And for this production, the performers will collaborate with workers from the Quality Street factory to develop a modern take on love, and to devise a live commentary that will frame Barrie’s original text. With an injection of contemporary relevance, the community ensemble will add a modern lens through which to view Barrie’s narrative.
Inspired by the diverse voices, cultures and heritage found in the North, we love that Northern Broadsides bring a proud northern twist into everything that they do. Quality Street looks to be a highlight of the theatre calendar – we recommend getting booked in early for this one.