The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and His Maid is Gilbert and Sullivan’s sparkling comic opera set in Shakespearean times during the reign of King Henry VIII. It is the darkest and most emotionally engaging of the Savoy Operas. The show takes place in the Tower of London where the gentleman Colonel Fairfax is wrongly accused of sorcery and sentenced to death within the hour. Fairfax hatches a plan to avoid letting his estate fall into the hands of his scheming cousin (incidentally, his accuser) by secretly marrying Elsie Maynard, a strolling singer. She agrees to be blindfolded during the ceremony and expects to be a wealthy widow upon Fairfax's imminent demise, leaving her free to marry her lover, the jester Jack Point. However, Fairfax miraculously escapes his fate and chaos ensues. Following his escape, Fairfax woos Elsie, and after a number of plot complications are resolved, she falls in love with him.
The Yeomen of the Guard guide sections