Review: Quality Street at Leeds Playhouse

This play, originally written in 1901 by JM Barrie who famously also wrote the story Peter Pan was the inspiration behind the name of the very recognisable and popular chocolates Quality Street.

The play begins within the walls of the local Halifax, then Mackintosh, now Nestlé factory with the actors depicting characters that worked there.

These actors from Northern Broadsides theatre company warmly engage with the audience setting the scene for this original play with their familiar northern accents and homely Yorkshire vocabulary that made me feel proud of my West Yorkshire roots. They cleverly set the scene and narrate the play throughout while injecting their stories of life and the goings on of working in a chocolate factory taken from people that worked there before 1988 when it was taken over by Nestlé who still produce the chocolates.

A charming tale of the dashing Mr Valentine Brown and Miss Pheobe Throssel set in the Napoleonic era early 1800s is cleverly brought right up to date as a Rom Com not be missed. The play was witty funny and fast paced capturing the charm, romance and sweet tradition of the era it was set in with a real modern twist.

This delightful play kept its audience captivated throughout with smiles all round, laughter and was easy to watch unfold.

I particularly loved the dancing scene at the ball. Smartly dressed soldiers in their dashing uniforms danced with ladies in traditionally styled beautiful dresses of that day, but made of shiny reflective modern fabrics much likenened to the foil and cellophane bright colourful wrappers of the chocolates in matching colours.

Special credit has to go to Paula Lane, the actress well known for playing Kylie in Coronation Street. She delivered a very funny performance, with a playful energy and her authentic, expressive, northern soul shone throughout.

I would highly recommend this play. It was a tale of joy and delight leaving it’s audience feeling light hearted and happy, a real feel good play and not too sickly sweet!

A real treat to watch with some local history thrown in it was very enlightening and entertaining.

Quality Street runs at Leeds Playhouse Quarry Theatre until Saturday 13 May 2023. Full details at:


This post was written by reader Sarah Thornton in return for two free tickets, as part of South Leeds Goes To The Playhouse.


While you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% in the last 12 months.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at

Thank you for your support