Trial by Jury was the work that firmly established the partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan. It marked the beginning of a run of extraordinary successes over the two decades that permanently changed the face of musical theatre in England. Conceived in some haste as a one-act filler for an evening's entertainment of Offenbach's La Perichole,Trial by Jury quickly established itself as the real hit of the production. Within two months of this first production, Trial by Jury received critical acclaim. Although it was produced early in the Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration, it contains most of the characteristics that define Gilbert and Sullivan's style, most strikingly, the comic use of a disjunction between appearances and reality. Even though Trial by Jury is the smallest of the fourteen works by this remarkable collaboration, it is among Gilbert and Sullivan's most perfect works.
Exhibiting their ability to portray a range of settings and characteristics, Gilbert and Sullivan wrote The Yeoman of the Guard. It is rather serious and realistic work, yet by no means devoid of humor that came after the tremendous successes of H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, Patience, lolanthe and Ruddigore.The Yeoman of the Guard was written in quite a hurry. The overture, for example, was finished during one of the final rehearsals. Even though it was written in haste, there was no evidence of it.