New Artistic Director, Laurie Sansom, today announced his first production for Northern Broadsides will be a revival of J.M. Barrie’s rarely performed farce Quality Street. The production will open in February 2020 in Halifax, the home of Quality Street™ the UK’s most popular brand of chocolates. Barrie’s play was so popular in its day that it gave the chocolates their name.
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 Livy, 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?
This show marks the beginning of a new producing model for Broadsides, with each production being co-created with “creation squads” formed from the local community. For this production, the actors will collaborate with workers from the Quality Street™ factory, developing contemporary tales of hapless love and a live commentary that will frame the action of Barrie’s regency rom-com. As well as providing a modern lens through which to view Barrie’s story, Broadsides also aims to build long-lasting relationships between the employees and their local theatre company.
Christmas 2019 will also see the company celebrating the festive season with a programme of folk songs and stories drawn from the Broadside Ballads published from the 1600s. Local folk singer Alice Jones will star in the fundraiser at The Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, alongside musicians who have been recently granted asylum in Halifax.
Quality Street will tour to Salford, Lancaster, Bury St Edmunds, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Guildford, Derby, Leeds, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Scarborough, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull and York. Tickets are on sale now from www.northern-broadsides.co.uk