Casting is today announced for Quality Street, Laurie Sansom’s debut production as Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides. The production, a rare revival of J.M. Barrie’s farce, will head to The Lowry from Tuesday 25 February – Saturday 29 February after opening 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. Jessica Baglow will play the title role of Phoebe Throssel and Dario Coates as love interest, Valentine Brown. Further cast features Jim English as Fanny Willoughby/Arthur, John Gully as Recruiting Sergeant/Spicer/Georgy, Claire Hackett as Patty, Louisa May Parker as Susan Throssel, Alicia McKenzie as Mary Willoughby, Sophie Mercell as Charlotte Parratt and Gabriel Paul as Ensign Blades/Isabella.
The show marks the beginning of a new producing model for Broadsides, with each production 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.
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?
Jessica Baglow’s recent stage credits include: Macbeth (RBL), The Big Corner (Bolton Octagon), Hamlet (Bolton Octagon), Jane Eyre (Bolton Octagon), First Words: Blue (Bolton Octagon), Educating Rita (Bolton Octagon/Derby Theatre), Pericles (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Family Way (Bolton Octagon) and Noises Off (Bolton Octagon). Film & TV include: Vera, Gentleman Jack, Apostasy, Holby City, Doctors, Salvage, Waterloo Road and Emmerdale.
Dario Coates’s stage credits include: The Rubenstein Kiss (Southwark Playhouse), Country Music (Omnibus Theatre Clapham), one man show Sid (Camden Fringe), Another Country (Trafalgar Studios & Chichester Festival), Single Spies (Rose Theatre), Posh (Nottingham/ Salisbury), Penthouse (Edinburgh Fringe 2017) and Electra (Bunker Theatre). Television includes: Damned, The Coroner, Doctors, Drifters and Coronation Street, ITV’s Endeavour.
Jim English’s stage credits include: This Space is Occupied (Bent Architect), For Love Or Money, Richard III (Northern Broadsides), The Northern School (Bent Architect), Darknet (Southwark Playhouse), Dancing Through The Shadows (Hull Truck Theatre), Hurling Rubble At The Moon (Park Theatre), Death At Dawn (Cloud Nine), Solid Air (Theatre Royal Plymouth), What You Will (Shakespeare’s Globe). Television and film includes: Peterloo, Coronation Street, Holby City, New Blood and Doctors.
John Gully’s recent stage credits for Northern Broadsides include: When We Are Married, The Merry Wives, King Lear, Wars of the Roses and A Woman Killed With Kindness. Other recent theatre include: Herding Cats (Play With Fire Productions), The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Salt of the Earth (Hull Truck Theatre), Spending Frank (SJT Scarborough) and The Hired Man (Salisbury Playhouse). TV includes: Home Fires, Happy Valley, Coronation Street, Coming Down The Mountain, Emmerdale, Strictly Confidential, Jane Hall’s Big Bad Bus Ride, Sparkhouse, Fat Friends, Hollyoaks, Doctors, Elizabeth, Castles, Criminal, The Royal Today, Heartbeat and The Bill.
Claire Hackett’s recent stage credits include: East is East (Bolton Octagon) and All My Sons (Apollo Theatre, West End). TV appearances include: Holby City, Coronation Street, Line of Duty, Wallander and Poirot. Film work includes: Apostasy, Harry Brown, Liam and Linda in Willy Russell’s Dancin’ thru the Dark.
Louisa May Parker’s stage credits include: Sitcom Stories (Edinburgh Fringe), If I Should Fall (RedBobble Theatre – Regional Tour), To Walk In Your Shoes (RedBobble Theatre – Regional Tour), Five Kinds of Silence (Arcola), The Iliad Live (Almeida), The Academy of Melancholy (Old Operating Theatre London Bridge), Three Sisters (Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute Moscow), Orestes (Imalis Theatre Greece), A Good Day: Love, Death & Virginia Woolf (RNCM). Film/TV credits include: Hollyoaks, Support, The Limehouse Golem, Metronome and Death Comes to Pemberley.
Alicia McKenzie’s recent stage credits include: The Crucible and Blonde Bombshells (Pitlochry 2019 Season), Wind in in the Willows (New Vic), Whisky Galore (Oldham Coliseum, Hull Truck, New Vic and UK tour), A Christmas Carol (Stephen Joseph Theatre) Tinkerbell in Peter Pan (Mercury Theatre) Cinderella (Octagon, Bolton) and Fuse (Crucible, Sheffield).
Sophie Mercell’s stage credits include: Jack and The Beanstalk (Oldham Coliseum), One Hundred Trillion (The Dot Collective – Old Vic Workrooms), Barbican Openfest (Told By An Idiot – The Barbican), The Ugly Duckling Christmas Special (The Herd – Hull Truck Theatre), All You Need is LSD (Told By An Idiot – Birmingham Rep), Bread and Roses (Oldham Coliseum), Let Me Play the Lion Too (Told By An Idiot – The Barbican), The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack Studio Theatre – David Ball Productions), Passing (The Bunker Theatre), Fémage à Trois (Loquitur Theatre – Theatre 503), Autumn (The Pensive Federation – Tristan Bates Theatre), Random (StoneCrabs – The Albany) and The Roaring Girl (The Sam Wanamaker Festival – The Globe).
Gabriel Paul’s stage credits include: The Play That Goes Wrong (West End and UK Tour), Queen of Chapletown (Leeds Playhouse), Bouncers (Esk Valley Theatre), Othello (DemiParadise Productions), Street Voices 3 (Freedom Studios). Television and film include: Safe, Snatch, From Darkness, The Syndicate, Doctors and The Hybrid.