1996 Trial by Jury & Cox & Box

Trial by Jury & Cox & Box
Performance dates: 
April 1996
Performance times: 
Evening performances 7.30 pm
Cordes Hall, Sunninghill

Cox & Box

Described as a trium viretta in OfIe act, this was a musical adaptation of a Victorian farce by 1. Maddison Morton called Box and Cox.

Sullivan was only 24 when he wrote the music for this work. In it he already shows the ability to mimic everything from Weber to German town bands.

Cox, - a hatter, and Box, - a printer, have, without knowing it, been sharing the same room in a lodging house run by Sergeant Bouncer, now an ex member of the military. Things come to a head when Cox is given a day off by his employer and finds Box in 'his' room. Bouncer, still trying to keep his customers sweet, offers to get another room ready. Whilst they are waiting Cox tells Box of his intended marriage to a proprietress of bathing machines at Margate This leads

to Box telling Cox how he almost suffered the same fate, but escaped it by committing suicide!

A fight develops, which is only stopped by Bouncer delivering a letter revealing that the lady has gone off and married another man! . Peace is restored, and the two identify themselves as brothers by the absence of a birthmark.


Trial by Jury

Trial by Jury (1875) was comissioned by Richard D'Oyly Carte as a curtain raiser for the Royalty Theatre. It was written as a short dramatic cantata. Musically it is a gem, and is considered by many to be their best work (although HMS Pinafore ran for longer).

The story, lampooning the law as Gilbert, a failed barrister, so often did, is a court action for breach of promise of marriage. The Usher briefs the Jury to save time in the proceedings and the Defendent soon makes his own, less than blameless position clear. The learned Judge establishes his fitness to try the case - based on his own experience!

The plaintiff charms all the men and lets them know she wants the money. Counsel proves that marrying two wives at a time is Burglaree, and the ensuing dilemma is only solved by the Judge marrying her himself.

Cast list: 

Members of the Sunningdale Savoy Chorus

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