Law & Marriage

A New Sussex Opera Chorus production.

“The singing lifts the roof”
“The setting is unique and for that reason it is very special. The quality of the singing is sublime – we are really impressed.”
“A colourful caper for all concerned.”
(Audience reaction on BBC South East Today)

Gilbert and Sullivan

Trial by Jury

April 2011
Lewes Crown Court

NSO company and chorus
NSO Court Orchestra
Conductor Nick Milner-Gulland
Director Richard Dyball
Special Guest William Robert Allenby


The first of three productions we staged in the Victorian splendour of Lewes Crown Court – the setting for many high-profile criminal cases. The court staff obligingly moved out all computers, signs and other modern clutter, leaving the historic court as it originally was. Huge public interest to see an opera staged in this venue meant the show was sold out for all performances about a month ahead.

We went for a traditional staging of Trial by Jury, in Victorian-themed costumes, acknowledging in the programme that this operetta concerns a civil case although this is in fact a criminal court with a dock. Retired judge Michael Kennedy sang the role of Counsel, and another judge was in the chorus. The first half of the programme included items from other G&S operettas on the ‘law and marriage’ theme, each introduced by a specially written Gilbertian dialogue between Judge and Usher.

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