Student Review – Grandma Saves The Day!

Grandma Saves The Day! By Phil Willmott – New Wolsey Theatre

 This was by far one of my favourite productions the New Wolsey Theatre has ever done!

This was a musical play based on the cartoon Giles family created by Daily Express cartoonist Carl Giles. The 16-year-old daughter Bridget Giles (played by Grace Lancaster) opened the play giving some background to the audience telling us when and where the play is set (Ipswich in the 1980’s). Shortly after we experience our first musical number, ‘Our House’ by Madness that introduced the rest of the Giles family and the next couple of scenes we are introduced to very augmentative neighbours, The Stinkletons, who become their rivals.

Throughout  the play we experienced many comedic moments and references that still make me laugh thinking about them. The play ended with a standing ovation from the audience.

A couple of my favourite characters included Rupert Farley Rusk (played by the extremely talented James Haggie) who continued to impress the audience with his comedic remarks and gestures.

Another one of my favourite characters was Eric Giles, (played by Ben Goffe), who kept his energy going throughout his performance and showed us his clearly impressive dancing skills.

The setting and production of the show was exceptional as the whole set was designed to look like a cartoon, which really set the scene and made the older members of the audience feel like kids again. Costumes and props were all carefully picked to represent the 80’s but still have cartoon elements.

All cast members played their own instruments on stage with the band on a higher level to the main stage and everyone moved set on and off with quick transitions that did not require black outs.

Memorable moments included all 80’s music and references, Grandma (played by Steve Simmonds) beating up the headmaster with cartoon words being displayed on the backdrop (crash, bang etc) and of course every reference that Larry Stinkleton (played by Guy Freeman) made to the outrageous ‘JoyofSex’ book.

I would recommend that this production is only to be viewed by ages 12 and above due to mild language and sexual references.

Francesca Wilson – East Bergholt High School

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