The Gingerbread Man

The Red Brick Hall, Wellington

15/04/2006 - 29/04/2006

Production Details

Written and directed by Sarah Delahunty


In In Sarah Delahunty’s hilarious recreation of the classic tale, the Gingerbread Man creates chaos by changing the endings to everyone’s favourite nursery rhymes! Meet the Tortoise and the Hare, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, Little Miss Muffet and many more well known nursery rhyme characters.

Glen Bailey
Estelle Clifford
Brian Gibb

Theatre , Children’s ,

50 mins

Cooking up a ginger winner

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 17th Apr 2006

You know you’re on to a winner with a children’s show when, within the opening moments, you can’t hear what’s being said on stage because of all the yelling and screaming. Such was the case on the opening performance of Sarah Delahunty’s adaptation of The Gingerbread Man. 

This may have been a particularly vocal audience but it’s to the credit of writer/director Delahunty and her excellent cast that they know exactly what children want and expect in a show and are able to give it to them by the bucketload. 

The opening scene that got the children so worked up was Poly (Estelle Clifford) trying to find her husband Alfred (Brian Gibb) to help with the baking. Once in the kitchen Alfred decides to make a gingerbread man (Glen Bailey), who, when he’s cooked, decides to run away.  

With Poly and Alfred in hot pursuit he travels through the countryside meeting and helping various other well known characters including Miss Muffet, Humpty Dumpty, the hare and the tortoise, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and even the fox, whom he persuades not to eat him.  

Bailey is excellent as the Gingerbread Man, animated and very physical, and continually interacting with the audience, who never tire of telling him who the other characters are and where they have gone.  

He is ably supported by Clifford and Gibb who, along with Heidi North, play all the other characters with energy and enthusiasm, each having great rapport with their audience.  

With minimal dialogue, lots of sight gags and catchy songs, on a highly colorful and imaginative set designed by Hayley Ness, this show has all the ingredients for success in the school holidays.


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Spice and life lessons

Review by John Smythe 16th Apr 2006

When the hall is packed and the kids interact with the play without having to be asked, let alone cajoled, you know the perpetrators know their business. Sarah Delahunty’s The Gingerbread Man is a wise and witty romp through the classic tale that picks up some others on the way.

A Kiwi couple, Poly – because she does so much? – (Estelle Clifford) and Alfred (Brian Gibb) bicker over the baking and other chores. While she watches the rugby for a change, he bakes the bikkies and the consequence is the Gingerbread Man (Glen Bailey). On realising his destiny is to be eaten, the Gingerbread Man takes off into the rolling hills and valleys, splendidly depicted by Hayley Ness on a painted picture-book backdrop.

His encounters with Miss Muffett (Heidi North), the Tortoise (Clifford), the Hare (Gibb), Humpty Dumpty (North), Tweedle Dum (Gibb), Tweedle Dee (Clifford) and a Fox (North), all add spice to the adventure and some good life lessons too.

Without forcing the message in the least, the audience discovers something many adults pay megabucks to counsellors to learn: if you don’t like the story that Fate or other people have written you into, rewrite it for yourself. Existentialism without angst wins over Determinism without power – as it should. Great stuff.


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