TIPS on how to survive the credit crunch may not sound like a barrel of laughs, but when they are delivered by Jenny Eclair with a pair of knickers on her head, giggles are guaranteed.

So it was that Captain Eclair commanded the grumpy of York for one night only, aided by fellow silly sourpusses and soap favourites Susie Blake and Wendi Peters.

The show was subtitled Chin Up Britain (although I almost preferred the typo on the ticket “Chip Up Britain”) and sought to inspire some Blitz spirit to see us through the recession.

Cue military marching and uniforms and the grumpies unleashing their own grumpy laws, covering everything from the banning of crying on reality TV shows to abolishing teeth whitening with the declaration: “English teeth are supposed to be the colour of cauliflower.”

Much of the appeal of GOW lies in holding a mirror to the audience’s own bugbears, so no surprises for rants about the menopause, snoring hubbies and how ironing (or perhaps anything) is preferable to sex.

But there was still plenty of inventiveness, not least the ending where the trio set up their own ten-minute “kitchen disco”, noting that “any longer and you get a stitch”.

Few in the almost entirely female audience would take issue with their claim that no one is fit to rule the country who “can’t get rid of head lice or make a decent apple crumble”.

Jenny and co might have drawn the grumpies of York out for the evening, but one thing’s for sure, they all went home smiling.