Northern Broadsides' Quality Street

J.M. Barrie’s delicious farce, Quality Street, was written years before his now much-loved Peter Pan. The play was so well known in its day that it gave its name to the UK’s most popular chocolates, made in Halifax since 1936.

Northern Broadside's perform in many theatres across the UK, and we chose the Dukes in Lancaster. We haven't been to a theatrical performance at the Dukes for many years, and were pleasantly surprised to find that they have added an in-the-round performance space. The space certainly suited the play and we were absorbed from the opening lines.

Northern Broadsides' adaptation of Quality Street was superb. The play was written to be performed by a Northern troupe! They created a "frame" around the play, with workers from the Quality Street factory commenting on the action and the characters.

Phoebe Throssel lives on Quality Street, the bustling hub of a quaint northern town where she runs a school for unruly children.

Ten years since a tearful goodbye, an old flame returns from fighting Napoleon. But the look of disappointment on Captain Valentine's face when he greets a more mature, less glamorous Phoebe, spurs our determined heroine to action. She becomes the wild and sparkling Miss Livvy, a younger alter-ego who soon entraps the clueless Captain.

As their romance is rekindled, can she juggle both personas? Or will her deception scandalise the town and wreck any future with the man she loves?

The performance was magical, we were swept away to Quality Street and the lives of the Throssel sisters and their neighbours and friends.