12th - 15th June 2019, Annex Theatre Southampton
In the summer of 2019, LOpSoc brought two shows in as many acts to The Annex Theatre for our Double Feature of G&S'
Trial by Jury and Sullivan and Rowe's The Zoo. Like our production of Patience in the
summer of 2018, these shows were forward to the (relatively) modern day. We set Trial in a
90s reality TV courtroom broadcast under the name The Judge Goode Show. The Learned Judge became an acerbic
reality show star, The Usher a highly strung executive producer and the chorus of bridesmaids a rowdy hen party.
The events of The Zoo took place down the road from our TV studio as members the jury and the Judge Goode
production crew tried to enjoy a day at the zoo. The tranquil setting was interrupted by the hectic love stories that
remain almost unchanged from the original Libretto.
The lights come up on the set, the theme tune begins to play, And over a loud speaker you hear "The Judge Good Show is filmed in front of a live studio audience!" The Executive producer can be seen rushing through the audience and picking members to act as jurors on the show. He gives them strict instructions to hold today's defendant in contempt. Edwin, the defendant, is greeted to the set to the sound of a booing audience. Edwin is accused of breaking the promise of marriage and, though still hostile as instructed, the Jury begin to sympathise with Edwin in his unhappy engagement. Then, the plaintiff enters, and everyone immediately falls in love with her. The Executive Producer watches in horror as more and more convoluted solutions are suggested by all on set and the show flies out of his control...
Around the same time, we bump into some familiar faces from the set of The Judge Goode show on a relaxing day out to the zoo. Everyone is gathered for the opening of the new bear pit. The calm is suddenly interrupted by a distraught Æsculapius Carboy rushing in and announcing he is emigrating abroad. He explains he has been communicating with his girlfriend, Lætitia Grinder, behind her father's back by writing on the labels of medication he's been prescribing them as their pharmacist. He has received news that there had been a mix up of Lætitia and her Father's medicine with fatal consequences. Just as Carboy is about to flee the scene in guilt, Lætitia appears claiming that letter containing news of the mix up was a joke from her sister, and declares her love for Carboy. Their happiness doesn't last long, however. Mr Grinder enters and refuses to let the couple marry. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger by the name of Thomas is going to great lengths to impress Eliza, the owner of the zoo's cafe. As we learn more about Thomas, the fates of Carboy and Lætitia become irreversibly tied to him and Eliza, and hope begins to resurface. All throughout, Mr Grinder watches from afar, plotting his next move.