taking it on the road

Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury was by far the most ambitious project ever undertaken by Loosely Woven, community-based performance troupe, in its 24-year history. The production was a logistical as well as artistic challenge. A total of 21 cast members, multiple crew, plus a seven-person music ensemble travelled to perform at 10 locations around the state.

By the two final shows at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, the company had already performed to packed houses in several northern Sydney suburbs, including Humph Hall, and in original historic courthouses in Carcoar, Murrumburrah, Boorowa and Gunning.


Elvis-defendant
judge and complainant

cast and crew

Christine Logan's skilled direction, with able musical assistance from Opera Australia's Peter Alexander, helped the cast sparkle. Lesley Braithwaite's Angelina, was a delightfully, self-absorbed damsel determined to get her due. Greg Thompson, the 'rock star' defendant, owned his role as unconcerned philanderer. Wayne Richmond excelled as the doddery Judge.

The whole troupe rose to the challenge: Counsel, Usher, Bridesmaids, Court Reporter, Foreman, Jury and public gallery – and the seven-person musical ensemble. Behind-the-scenes contributors ensured success: Assistant Director; those responsible for posters, photography, make-up, sewing, props; and the three rehearsal pianists.

brilliant performance!

Julie Bishop's review

"Who would have thought that a community group of Loosely Woven singers and musicians could put on such a brilliant performance of this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta?

They were fortunate to have an expert director in Christine Logan, from Endangered Productions – who really helped the performers add an entertaining sparkle to the show. Lesley Braithwaite was a delightful Angelina, totally in character as a self-absorbed young woman determined to get her due for breach of promise of marriage. And Greg Thompson, as the 'rock star' defendant, made a good job of playing an unconcerned philanderer."

Read the Review (PDF 650 KB)

complainant-defendant
courtroom

Its inspiration

Trial by Jury draws on Gilbert's training and brief practice as a barrister. Its breach-of-promise trial going awry reflects a common law tort of Victorian times. It is a non-too-subtle dig at judges, lawyers, the law and the legal system. As the opportunistic, unscrupulous Judge boasts:

Though all my law be fudge
Yet I'll never, never budge
And I'll live and die a judge
And a good Judge too!


courtreporter
Clerk-of-court
trio-in-court

Want to be involved next time?

We welcome all kinds of volunteers. There are opportunities for volunteers to learn and share skills our upcoming production of Peer Gynt. We particularly welcome skilled creative, perhaps retired, Super Citizens who are willing to act as mentors.

Our productions will also provide work opportunities for professional musicians, singers, and actors.

We love sponsors.  By becoming a private or corporate sponsor you will contribute to the creation of quality, accessible music theatre in Sydney. Contact us and we will get back to you directly about our upcoming production of Peer Gynt.