Halifax gets behind local production of JM Barrie’s Quality Street!

19 May 2023
Quality Street

Last week the cast of the delicious Regency comedy Quality Street, which is heading to the Victoria Theatre Halifax from Tuesday 4 July to Friday 7 July

Whilst Phoebe Throssel’s make-up was applied at Harvey’s Department Store, The Captains sampled some Korean food at Seoul Kitchen in the Westgate Arcade; they admired the Duke of Wellington Regiment Memorial in the Woolshops before visiting the Discover Halifax Hub and the Halifax Central Library where vintage Quality Street tins are currently on display, courtesy of Bankfield Museum. The cast then posed for photographs at The Piece Hall. Organised by producers of the play Northern Broadsides, along with The Victoria Theatre and Halifax BID, this outing was to launch a town wide campaign to support this locally produced play that inspired Halifax’s famous Quality Street returning to Halifax for the last leg of the tour.

Quality Street in Harveys

Quality Street was written by J.M.Barrie, the beloved writer of Peter Pan. The acclaimed original run of Quality Street in 2020 was cut short by the pandemic and has now been revived for 2023. The popularity of J.M. Barrie’s romantic comedy was such a sensation in its day that it gave its name to the UK’s most loved chocolates: Quality Street™.

The story follows Phoebe Throssel who runs a school for unruly children on Quality Street. Ten years after a tearful goodbye, her old flame returns from fighting Napoleon. But the look of disappointment on Captain Valentine’s face when he greets an older, less glamorous Phoebe spurs the determined heroine to action, becoming the wild and sparkling Miss Livvy, a younger alter-ego who soon beguiles the clueless Captain. As their romance is rekindled, and Miss Livvy melts the Captain’s heart, Phoebe must juggle both personas while trying to avoid scandalizing the town with her deception, or wrecking her future with the man she loves.

Quality Street

The lead, Phoebe Throssel, this time will be played by Calderdale’s very own Paula Lane, who will be familiar to audiences for her 6 years in Coronation Street as Kylie Platt, as well as her work in Call The Midwife, Father Brown and Kinky Boots. Paula commented “I've wanted to work with Northern Broadsides for such a long time and to be performing the role of Phoebe in Quality Street right in the centre of Halifax feels like we're really bringing it home! My nana was a Mac's lass and loved every second of the show. To be stretching myself as an actor in this mammoth role has been like running a marathon daily (I like running!) It's my favourite stage role to date! Phoebe's spirit and determination will stay with me for a long time to come and to be able to speak her voice in my native Yorkshire accent has been a dream come true.”

Paula is joined by Jelani D’Aguilar (My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored, Red Ladder Theatre Company; Planet Caravan, People Zoo), Alice Imelda (Stick Man, Freckle Productions; I Spie, The Telling), Aron Julius (As You Like It, Northern Broadsides; A Christmas Carol and Love, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse) and Alex Moran (War Horse, National Theatre; A Clockwork Orange, Volcano). Two of the cast are returning from the original run Alicia McKenzie (Small Island, National Theatre; Bleak Expectations, The Watermill Theatre) and Louisa-May Parker (Coronation Street, ITV; Sitcom Stories, Edinburgh Fringe). Jamie Smelt (Macca & Beth, Royal Court Liverpool; Ackley Bridge, Channel 4) and Gilly Tompkins (Murder, Margaret & Me, Tilted Wig Productions; Gangsta Granny, National Tour and Garrick, West End) complete the cast.

The Quality Street tour concludes at The Victoria Theatre, Halifax for 5 performances from Tuesday 4 July to Friday 7 July (which is also World Chocolate Day!).

Quality Street by JM Barrie at the Victoria Theatre Halifax
Quality Street by JM Barrie at the Victoria Theatre Halifax