There are some twists – for one, this gingerbread man really, really wants to be eaten, so he can fulfil his destiny. He's just looking for the right person/animal to do it: the vain, lazy, selfish and stupid need not apply. This turns the chase – which can sometimes be scary for the toddler crowd it's aimed at – into a fun, playful game. We know he'll be eaten, and we're all waiting excitedly for the crafty fox to show us how to get the job done.
The show, which stars Kate Spencer, Jake Waring and Gilbert Taylor as the old woman, old man and gingerbread man, has catchy original songs by Ivan Stott, with live instrumental accompaniment, dancing and puppetry. The children in the audience were completely immersed, singing along, clapping, making remarks about what was happening to their parents. The more junior audience members were most excited to meet the fox; I happened to really enjoy how the bakery theme was woven into every aspect of the show, even the costumes – see the cow sporting a croissant mask and the horse tossing his mane of pastries.
The show is just under an hour – the perfect length of time to keep the average aged-3 crowd interested – and the atmosphere couldn't be more relaxed for kids. The ushers were even helpfully picking up chucked bottle lids and using torches to light the way for parents who had to dash in and out to attend to their little ones during the show. It's billed as a must-see for north London families, but considering it's just across the road from Highgate tube, you can definitely make the pilgrimage from further afield. And you should. Then run as fast as you can home, for an afternoon of baking biscuits. What else?
|What||The Gingerbread Man, Jacksons Lane review|
|Where||Jackson's Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Highgate (underground)|
01 Dec 18 – 24 Dec 18, performance times vary
|Website||Click here for booking information|