Trial by Jury
Royalty Theatre, Soho, London
‘Trial by Jury’ opened at 10.15pm on 25th March 1875 at the tiny Royalty Theatre in Dean Street, as part of a triple bill which included a romantic extravaganza with the unpronounceable title of ‘Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata’, and Offenbach’s ‘La Perichole’.
The theatre was managed by Mr Richard D’Oyly Carte, and it was his instigation that brought Gilbert and Sullivan together. The main work of the evening was obviously ‘La Perichole’, which had opened in January of the same year. It was the custom to provide a ‘curtain raiser’ and possibly an after piece because the Victorians not only enjoyed value for money but they also liked variety.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s piece was instantly successful, and began to overtake ‘La Perichole’ in popularity. It continued at the Royalty until 18th December 1875, with a total of 131 performances.
Trial by Jury was last performed by the company in 1990, when it was presented in conjunction with HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.