Quality Street



  • A romantic comedy by J. M. Barrie, set in the Regencyperiod and usually played as a lavish costume drama. It was firstperformed in 1901 in New York but went on to enjoy much greater successin London. The plot concerns Phoebe Throssel and her sister Susan, who live in Quality Street. Phoebe is in love with Valentine Brown, who is sent with his regiment to fight in the Napoleonic wars. When he returns 10 years later, Phoebe is worried that he will no longer love her now that she has aged; consequently she dresses brightly and arranges her hair in a youthful style. When Valentine fails to recognize her she pretends to be an imaginary niece, Miss Livvy. As soon as she realizes that Valentine is attracted to her, she woos him brazenly, as a test of his loyalty. Valentine, however, confesses his steadfast love for Phoebe. Phoebe gives up her false identity, Valentine proposes to her, and she modestly accepts.

    The popular chocolate selection Quality Street was named after the play: until 2000 its packaging always showed a soldier and a lady in the dressof the period.