Opera Scotland

Trial By Jury 1918D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Read more about the opera Trial By Jury

Theatrical tastes had changed, and it was no longer considered necessary to play a brief curtain-raiser before the main event of the evening. However on this tour, the perennial favourite Trial By Jury continued to survive as a prelude to HMS Pinafore on the first Thursday and to The Sorcerer on the second Wednesday.


Two Dundee Reviews

Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post: Friday, 25 October 1918

Her Majesty's Theatre - HMS Pinafore

'There was a double bill at Her Majesty's Theatre last night.  Trial by Jury was delightfully played.  There was less of the rout about it and more of the musical play than has sometimes been the custom.  As for HMS Pinafore, it was given with splendid spirit.  The finale to the first act went with excellent swing, and easily earned an encore.

'In Trial by Jury, Mr Leo Sheffield, who played the Judge, was the life of the piece.  He also played Captain Corcoran in Pinafore with much distinction.  He looked the part, acted with a gracious dignity, and he scored a real success in “Fair Moon.”  In the absence of Mr M'Keown, Mr James Turnbull played the tenor parts.  His voice is of admirable quality and his high notes rang out well in solo and concerted music.  He acts well, and his duets with Josephine were artistically sung.   Miss Elsie Coram, as the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, sang daintily and acted with arch humour.  The music for Josephine was well suited to Miss Phyllis Dicksee's soprano voice, and much praise is due to her finished singing of “Sorry Her Lot.”  Mr Henry Lytton played Sir Joseph Porter in a quiet, leisurely way that makes for the fullest effects of character and humour. Mr Hobbs' Dick Deadeye was also a notable performance, and Miss Bertha Lewis made a jolly, humorous bumboat woman.  Mr George Sinclair had parts after his own heart in both plays.'


Dundee Advertiser: Thursday, 31 October 1918

Gilbert-Sullivan Opera in Dundee

'The first of the bill at Her Majesty's Theatre last night was a repetition of Trial by Jury, in which mordant skit on things legal Mr Leo Sheffield repeated his very amusing rendering of the Judge.

'The second item was The Sorcerer, one of the early successes of the D'Oyly Carte-Gilbert-Sullivan combination.  Like all the present company's productions, the Sorcerer was brilliantly placed on the stage.  The cast selected assured a fine rendering.  The Aline of Miss Helen Gilliland was a bright and attractive performance, her light soprano voice being heard to much advantage.  Miss Lewis scored another success in her rendering of the stately Lady Sangazure; and Miss Bethell's Mrs Bartlett was a pleasing and amusing study.  Dr Daly was represented by Mr Sheffield with an easy dignity that suited well the part; the famous “curate” song being a fine example of quiet yet effective art.  If it were only for the Sorcerer of Mr Lytton the opera should receive a frequent hearing.  This actor has a keen perception of the burlesque element in the character, and makes the most of it; while the pace at which he rattles off the patter verses of his chief song is remarkable.  The minor characters, the part-singing and dancing were all more than satisfactory.


Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post: Thursday, 31 October 1918

The Sorcerer at Her Majesty's Theatre

'The Sorcerer has in it the germs of many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas which were to follow it.  It has a delightful freshness and originality of idea, and, as for the music, who could resist “Time was when love and I were well acquainted,” even after all these years, and as for the heavenly Quintette; shall we ever tire of it?  Mr Lytton as J W Wells was full of humorous doings, and Mr Leo Sheffield's Vicar was a mature and rich study.  In fact, Mr Sheffield was at his best in this part, and “The Pale Young Curate” was a pure delight.  Mr Hobbs as Sir Marmaduke, Mr Wilson as the Notary, and Mr Hugh Blackmore as Alexis were all in capital form.  Miss Helen Gilliland sings with much sweetness, and the part of Aline suited her admirably.  Special praise is due to Miss Bertha Lewis for her good work as Lady Sangazure, and no less to Miss Catherine Ferguson, whose winning personality made the part of Constance particularly charming.  The choruses and the country dance were warmly encored, and the concerted piece for five voices, “I rejoice that it's decided,” was one of the gems of the evening.

'Trial by Jury was also played, in which Mr James Turnbull made an excellent Defendant, and Mr Leo Sheffield repeated his perfect performance of the learned Judge.'


Cast details are drawn from reviews in the Dundee Advertiser and Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post.

Details of Edinburgh and Glasgow visits to be confirmed.

Performance Cast


George Sinclair (Oct 24)


Edward McKeown (Oct 10, 16)

James Turnbull (Oct 24, 30)

Learned Judge

Leo Sheffield (Oct 24, 30)


Elsie Coram (Oct 24)

Counsel for the Plaintiff

Frank Wilson (Oct 24)

Production Cast


Walter Hann (Oct 24, 30)

Stage Director

Mr J M Gordon

Performance DatesTrial By Jury 1918

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

10 Oct, 19.30 16 Oct, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

24 Oct, 19.30 30 Oct, 19.30

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