FARCICAL, ridiculous and emotional are some of the tasty ingredients of a rare revival of period drama Quality Street which is unwrapping at the Liverpool Playhouse next week.

Globe critic Peter Grant chews over the play with one of its stars.

DARIO Coates is playing Captain Valentine in the forthcoming visit by the award-winning Northern Broadsides company.

He is one of the characters in J. M. Barrie's novel.

One of his most popular works and written before the evergreen classic Peter Pan.

Northern Broadsides now present their vibrant version of this regency rom-com.

The book inspired those famous chocolates we all know and love.

It is set in the Napoleonic era during tbe early 19th century featuring stunning colourful costumes just lime sweet wrappers..

Dario says he is thoroughly enjoying playing the initially naive soldier.

He tells the Globe: "The genial captain is a well-intentioned young man who returns from the wars to discover things have not remained the same in Quality Street.

"But gradually he learns where his true feelings lie."

Valentine left his heart in the quaint Northern town with an old flame - Phoebe Throssel who runs a school for unruly children.

But ten years on Phoebe is not the same girl he left behind.

And neither is the military man.

Romance is very much the soft-centre for this entertaining, very funny and uplifting roller coaster production which also features stunning puppetry.

Like the contents of a tin of Quality Street there is something for everyone.

The actual chocolate confections were first made in Halifax in 1936.

Now made by Nestle, some of the factory workers of today contributed some surprising intimate commenotary during the play part of an intriguing twist.

Dario, 27, is delighted that the quirky unstufgy drama is coming to the Playhouse.

It's a double first for the actor who played Alex Neeson in Coronation Street.

"I've never visited Liverpool before and the Playhouse is a venue I've always wanted to work at."

Dario, originally from Hebden Bridge, left Yorkshire to work as an actor in London a decade ago.

He says he loves one major part of being an actor - going out on the road.

Dario says: "It's the camaraderie.

"Touring a show is an all-consuming experience and it's the people that make if less lonely from day-to-day.

"That's if we don't all hate each other by the time the tour ends in June."

But there is no chance of that scenario since the nine-strong cast - including co-star Jessica Baglow who plays Phoebe - are discussing doing a 10 k run together.

Dario adds that his debut with the ever-inventive Northern Broadsides is a fantastic personal and professional experience.

"I've always wanted to work for the company and we have a new artistic director in Laurie Sansom.

"There's going to be some exciting stuff ahead."

Once the tour's over Dario has decided on some 'quality time' for himself.

He smiles: "I am going to book a nice holiday."

Chocs away!

Liverpool Playhouse March 17 to 21 0151 7089 4776

Details from www.everymanplayhouse.com northern-broadsides.co.uk