A charming comedy about second chances and the transformative power of love
1805: sisters Phoebe and Susan Throssel live in a little house on Quality Street, the main thoroughfare of a provincial English village, where an amorous sergeant is drumming up recruits for the Napoleonic Wars.
The 22-year-old Phoebe has become acquainted with a doctor, Valentine Brown, and she seems set to be saved from the ignominy that comes with having to don an ‘Old Maid’s Cap’. Indeed, the gossips are certain Phoebe will receive a proposal – and they don’t even know that Phoebe has let Valentine kiss her! But then, as the snow falls, the good doctor breaks some unexpected news: he has enlisted, and is off to the wars.
Ten years pass and the sisters fall on hard times, struggling to run a school for ‘genteel’ children and to make ends meet. Now in her 30s and resigned to spinsterhood, Phoebe, resentfully, wears her cap.
Returning a dashing, decorated hero, Captain Brown revisits the little house on Quality Street – but, horribly, he no longer recognises the woman with whom he once stepped out with. Can the school mistress recreate the Phoebe of her youth and capture the heart of the seemingly blind soldier? Or will he finally open his eyes to who she really is?
Premièred in 1901, Quality Street was a huge hit in London’s West End (and yes, inspired the chocolates!).
If you enjoy the world of Jane Austen or revelled in previous PFT productions of Barrie’s plays, you’ll love this romantic exploration of passing youth, second chances, and the transformative power of love.
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