Grandma Saves the Day, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich. Until May 18. 01473 295900.

For their latest Rock N Roll Panto, the New Wolsey offer us this musical, featuring the Giles family, stars of the hugely popular cartoon strip by Ronald Giles.

It’s not officially their Rock N Roll Panto, but it evolves from their fine tradition of actor/musician productions, notably in the festive season. This tradition has also produced some excellent productions such as Once and Made in Dagenham, but here the concept falls flat mainly due to a crude, clumsy script by Phil Wilmott, that fails to give the show much coherence.

The Giles family move into a council house in Ipswich in 1987 next to the snobbish, upwardly mobile Stinkleton family.

A story of star crossed lovers, those being young Bridget Giles and Larry Stinkleton, and left and right wing politics are employed, but from the start it feels as if the set list was decided first, and the script was bolted together around them - and you see them coming from a mile off.

Mrs. Stinkleton is called Eileen, so you swiftly know Come On Eileen is going to be sung by her horny husband, and daughter Carol fancies a guy in the chip shop, you just know he thinks he’s Elvis. Grandma Giles, in the cartoon, is silent, but here she is given one word - Gertcha - which signals the Chas N Dave song. Yes, it’s as unsubtle as that.

There are positives, namely Cleo Pettit’s superb set and costume design, delightfully capturing the cartoon script look throughout, and making the Giles family instantly recognisable to those who know them, and the cast are great, working their socks off.

In particular, Guy Freeman is hilarious as love struck Larry, matched with Grace Lancaster’s brilliant Bridget, Steve Simmonds delighting the audience as Grandma, and Ben Goffe gyrating superbly as Eric Giles. The socialist in me approved highly of the political stance the musical takes, but equally I will never be able to accept Thatcher singing Killer Queen and One Way or Another, no matter how well Alice Keedwell performs it.

The jokes come from the Seventies and Eighties and belong firmly in the Carry On genre. Nothing wrong with that, but almost 40 years ago Spitting Image was doing this kind of material with much more of a satirical edge, and this show is about as subtle as a drunken Ipswich reveller clamouring over the Giles Grandma statue in Ipswich town centre on a Saturday night.