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Sheet music cover to "An English Garden"Dear Miss Phoebe

Book & lyrics by Christopher Hassall
Music by Harry Parr Davies
Based on Sir James Barrie's Quality Street

Phoenix Theatre, London - 13 October, 1950 (283 perfs)


Susan and Phoebe Throssel live in Quality Street, a thoroughfare where everyone knows everyone else's business. Phoebe is in love with Valentine Brown, but he enlists for the army and goes off to the Napoleonic war for ten years. The sisters are too proud to tell him that his investment advice has lost them all their money, To make ends meet they start a little school, but by the time Valentine returns from service, Phoebe seems to have aged considerably. Sometimes, though in secret however, she dresses brightly, lets down her ringlets and becomes young again. When Valentine discovers her in this guise he does not immediately recognise her so she passes herself off as her niece, Miss Livvy.

Valentine is charmed so she flirts outrageously determined to humiliate him by refusing any proposal that he might make. However, when he declares Livvy's behaviour has made him realise how much he loves Phoebe, new complications occur. Miss Livvy must be got rid of - the neighbours are talking!

Valentine, who had very early on learned the truth of Phoebe's deception plays along and when finally he does propose, Phoebe modestly accepts.

Principal Musical Numbers:

  1. Whisper While You Waltz
  2. Spring Will Sing a Song For You
  3. Living A Dream
  4. March of the Redcoats
  5. I Can't Resist
  6. Livvy's 'Ad One Of Her Turns
  7. All's Well Tonight
  8. When Will You Marry Me?
  9. I Leave My Heart In An English Garden