The Gingerbread Man

Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

09/07/2012 - 14/07/2012

Production Details

The Gingerbread Man celebrates Phineas Phrog’s 10th birthday with the Bruce Mason Centre. 

‘Down on the farm Mrs Macdonald longs for a child, but baking a magical Gingerbread Man wasn’t exactly what she had in mind!  She loves her tasty creation all the same but this is no sweet treat – this ginger snap is determined to spice things up on the MacDonald farm’

Bruce Mason Centre
Date: 9 -14 July
Times: 10am & 12pm daily    

Ticket cost: $15. Service fees apply.  ADULTS AT KIDS PRICES 

Booking details: / (09) 970 9700 and at Bruce Mason Centre box office.

Gingerbread Man and minor characters: Ash Jones
Old MacDonald and minor characters: Chris Neels
Chicken and minor characters: Jodie Hillock
Mrs McDonald and minor characters: Sarah Trass

Lighting Designer: Henry Scott
Set Designer: Sarah Somerville
Admin and front of house: Bruce Mason Centre staff  

Songs, laughter, audience interaction and the chases kids adore

Review by Adey Ramsel 09th Jul 2012

No matter how many times you see it, a group of children watching live theatre is always a joy and holds high hopes for the future.  

Phineas Phrog has done it again, combining all the right ingredients to capture the imagination of its target audience.  

Sarah Somerville has turned her talents to the tale of The Gingerbread Man this time, creating a fast, fun-filled fifty minutes. Taking its theme from the chant, Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man”, we watch our hero run away from Old Ma MacDonald who gave life to him from a spare piece of cookie dough.   

We follow him into a Meadow where he comes across a Butterfly; from there into a Forest then a Wood until all it seems he is doing is running away from animals who want to eat him. Finally he finds his way back home safe and sound.

Ash Jones has the right balance for Gingerbread Man: fun with the kids and a little bit cocky for the adults. 

Chris Neels opens the show well, getting his audience to yell out and sing along. Sarah Trass is funny as old Ma Macdonald, big bottomed and friendly with it. Jodie Hillock does a nice line in chicken and all three have their work cut out, providing all the creatures that our hero meets along the way.

Fast and furious, Director Somerville makes sure they never miss a beat. Songs, laughter, plenty of audience interaction and the bit the kids always adore – characters running through the audience. You can’t ask for more and even if it’s every trick in the book to keep the littlies watching for fifty minutes, it’s worth it.

I felt my own feet tapping during the Gingerbread Man song and one little boy in front of me summed it up: It was the bestest, better than the last best one.” 

Having spent a long time in children’s theatre myself, I know its not easy staying one step ahead of them and keeping the energy going. Phineas Phrog celebrates 10 years of presenting well-loved children’s classics at the Bruce Mason Centre and they should be applauded for keeping the momentum and fun going.

Special congratulations to jack-of-all-trades Sarah Somerville. I realise there are plenty of people behind the scenes but it seems Somerville keeps a steady hand on the tiller and should be very proud. 


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