Nearly everyone is familiar with the cartoons of Carl Giles, more so Ipswich residents as he worked and lived in the area. His brilliant drawings graced the pages of the Daily and Sunday Express for many years and the fictitious Giles family, headed by Grandma were instantly recognisable.
In this brand new production the characters are brought to life in typical New Wolsey musical style. The format follows the highly successful one that director Peter Rowe’s annual Rock n Roll pantos follow, lots of very talented actor musicians and songs that everyone knows.
Musically Grandma Saves the Day is set in the 1980s so get ready to sing along to Simply the Best, Our House, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go etc.
There are a lot of 1980s references that will make you smile, oh how we loved Panda Pop and Black Forest Gateaux. (I’d take issue with some of the references, and in fact M&S were selling food in the 1980s).
Steve Simmonds is brilliant as Grandma Giles, and looks just like Giles’ illustrations, even if he does have only a few lines. Panto favourite James Haggie steals the show as Rupert Farley Rusk, superb comic acting and timing.
There were some clever, subtle changes, to lyrics which brought a smile.
Sadly this is not the New Wolsey’s finest hour as what could have been so much better is let down by a weak script that even Grandma couldn’t save.
That said it’s still well-worth booking to see if you like the music of 80s and want an enjoyable evening with a little nostalgia thrown and we can guarantee you will certainly be singing along.
Grandma Saves The Day! is at the New Wolsey Theatre until Saturday 18th May.
Box Office 01473 29500 or www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine