Jean Paul Jones is an eighteenth-century US naval commander with Scottish roots; and this is the musical of his life. Its fundamental flaw is that it hasnt decided if its a musical or a modern opera. The whole production has the taint of talented and intelligent people trying to be populist but not entirely comfortable with dumbing down.A high-brow attempt to be subtle in plot and historically complete in its biography leaves the book too confused and thematically incoherent to be a satisfying musical. Meanwhile, the patronising and undramatic framing device tenuously involving Robert Burns removes deeper meaning from the genuinely interesting story of Jones. Tangentially-related quotations from Burns and Shakespeare are curiously mixed in with silly jokes about having lots of sex and how Benjamin Franklin is a bit of a looser.The solo roles are similarly confused as to the genre theyre working in. Backed by the Consort of Voices and members of the SCO, one can forgive the inappropriately operatic singing of Douglas Nairen - and in fact hes got fantastic voice. The Consort were obviously having a great time, especially portraying the Oklahoma-style peasants in various taverns, but undoubtedly bring a whiff of the ecclesiastical recital to the production. Helen Wilding was bang on the music theatre money as Delia, the saucy but simple French Duchess.Wagstaffs musical style is often described as patchwork, leading one to expect something much more eclectic than the catchy blend of Parrys Jerusalem and Celtic rock that forms the basic sound here; the relatively unified sound leaves me in no doubt that Wagstaff is a talented popular composer. Gorgeous orchestral arrangements conjure the various settings very effectively, but there is an over-reliance on physical musical effect in the attempt to crowbar significance into the duller scenes. The music is great fun and its Disney-aesthetic is exactly what a West End musical needs, its just its powers are used for evil rather than good, almost lulling the audience into a false sense of entertainment where the book is lacking.So, will John Paul Jones turn into a commercial musical or an Arts-Council opera? The producers say they plan to take it to the West End, so expect future productions to have a much more focused story.