The New Vic has teamed up with Northern Broadsides to revive their delectable production of Quality Street this spring, written by J.M. Barrie, the beloved writer of Peter Pan.
This production’s acclaimed original run in 2020 was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and has now been revived for 2023. Quality Street will begin its UK-wide tour at the New Vic from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 March.
In Quality Street, Phoebe Throssel runs a school for unruly children. Ten years on 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 our 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.
The 2023 cast includes Jelani D’Aguilar (My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored, Red Ladder Theatre Company; Planet Caravan, People Zoo) as Fanny Willoughby / Isabella / Sandra; Alice Imelda (Stick Man, Freckle Productions; I Spie, The Telling) as Charlotte Parratt / Jo; Aron Julius (As You Like It, Northern Broadsides and New Vic; A Christmas Carol and Love, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse) as Captain Valentine Brown; Paula Lane (Coronation Street, ITV; Road, Oldham Coliseum) as Phoebe Throssel; Alicia McKenzie (Small Island, National Theatre; Bleak Expectations, The Watermill Theatre) as Mary Willoughby / Lotte; with Alex Moran (War Horse, National Theatre; A Clockwork Orange, Volcano) as Ensign Blades / Arthur / Brenda; Louisa-May Parker (Coronation Street, ITV; Sitcom Stories, Edinburgh Fringe) as Susan Throssel; Jamie Smelt (Macca & Beth, Royal Court Liverpool; Ackley Bridge, Channel 4) as Recruiting Sergeant / Georgy / Lieutenant Spicer and Gilly Tompkins (Murder, Margaret & Me, Tilted Wig Productions; Gangsta Granny, National Tour and Garrick, West End) completing the cast as Patty / Barbara.
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™. This sweet and sumptuous show was created with a team of retired workers from the Halifax factory where Quality Street™ chocolates have been proudly made since 1936, wrapping the action in their witty and outrageous observations.
Laurie Sansom, director of Quality Street and Artistic Director and CEO of Northern Broadsides said: “It was heart-breaking to have to abandon this production in 2020 when it was being enjoyed by so many. We are thrilled to be working with our wonderful partners at New Vic Theatre to bring it back to stages up and down the country with a fantastically playful company who capture the wit and wisdom of the Halifax women who helped us make the original show as well as J.M. Barrie’s delightfully comic creations. We can’t wait to get it back on the road.”
Theresa Heskins, Artistic Director of New Vic Theatre, said: “It is a real treat to be working with Northern Broadsides on Quality Street. We were eagerly anticipating the show in 2020 when it was cut short due to Covid, so we couldn’t be happier that we’re now collaborating in our workshops and rehearsal rooms once again on this delightful romantic comedy. We can’t wait to finally be able to share it with our audiences after almost three years of waiting.”
Quality Street takes to the stage at theNew Vic from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 March 2023. Tickets are on sale now, priced from £20.00. For more information and to book call the Box Office on 01782 717962 or online at newvictheatre.org.uk.