Review: The Gingerbread Man. Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company. Lakeside Arts. Nottingham.

Who wants to see a freshly baked gingerbread man come alive and go for crazy adventures that take him all around the world whilst being chased by a no-good naughty fox? Me and a Lakeside audience packed with parents and their small children do! Who wants to see what two performers, Hobbit and Jake England-Johns can magic up on the Lakeside studio stage starting with just a platform and a lot of suitcases? Me!!! And the rest of the audience do! Well, as soon as the lights go down and a face appears in a suitcase, instantly getting everyone’s attention, we are told that the gingerbread man isn’t here! What? Another victim of Covid, surely not? Did Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company forget to employ an understudy gingerbread man? Crumbs. No folks, keep your face masks on and stay in your seats. The reason is because he hasn’t been created yet by the farmer’s wife.

If there is anywhere worth spending fifty-five minutes sat down in the dark it is here at Lakeside watching the crazy antics of the two brilliant actors (and the gingerbread man – obviously, duh) act out dozens of characters, animal and human, and madcap incidents in The Gingerbread Man, a show aimed at ages 3-10. It is all fabulously inventive fun that transports us into a world of delights through puppetry, physical theatre and song that appeals to adults and kids alike, plus acrobatics and story-telling with a conscience. To describe it in anymore detail would be serious spoilers time. Just trust us and, if you haven’t already done so, please book for this engaging and fast-paced show about the bravest spiciest biscuit in the world, that surprises the senses on every turn. This show takes the biscuit and runs and runs.

The Gingerbread Man is directed by Niki McCretton, the puppetry is by Holly Miller, the composer and lyricist are Matt Huxley and Toby Gascoigne. The design and set build are courtesy of James Lewis and Tin Shed Scenery with costumes by Rebecca Lewis. For more info about Stuff and Nonsense see www.aloadofstuffandnonsense.co.uk

The Gingerbread Man runs at Lakeside Arts until Thursday 30th December 2021.

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