The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
December 31 [+mat] 1983 – January 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 [+mat] 1984.
The Gingerbread Man
by David Wood
Ralph Dawes – Herr Von Cuckoo
Eddie Roberts – Salt
Miranda Bowen – Pepper
Andrew Cook – The Gingerbread Man
Sally Bacon – The Old Bag
Ray Hopper – Sleek, the Mouse
Joan Bearman – Mrs. Big One
Douglas Blake – Mr. Big One
Ron Cheesman – Mr. Big One
Producer – Ronald Cheesman
Designer – Ralph Dawes
Choreographer – Miranda Bowen
Musical Director – Myra Gristwood
Accompanist – Daphne Thornton
Stage Manager – Amanda Dawes
A.S.M. – Margaret Davy
A.S.M. – Joan Bearman
Lighting Design – Frank Hurrell
Lighting Design – Jonathan Dawes
Set Construction – Brian Box
Set Construction – David Comber
Set Construction – Mark Flower
Set Construction – Ron Cheesman
Set Construction – Mike Davy
Set Construction – Ralph Dawes
Scenery Painted – Sandra Peaty
Sound – David Peaty
Costume Design – Amanda Dawes
Costumes Cut – Mary Payne
Costumes Maker – Frances Thorne
Costumes Maker – Jean Porter
Costumes Maker – Miranda Bowen
Costumes Maker – Margaret Davy
Front of House – George Porter
Box Office – Frances Thorne
Foyer Decor – Rosemary Biggs
Foyer Decor – Margaret Davy
Foyer Decor – Simon Bolton
Programme Note #1: The Gingerbread Man
BD wrote “Dear Audience, The Wick would like to take this opportunity of thanking YOU for your continued support during the past year and hope to welcome you all at our future shows.
I hope you will enjoy David Wood’s delightful play and have a really happy time in the company of the Gingerbread Man and his friends.”
Programme Note #2: The Gingerbread Man
“We have to thank David Wood for the return to the Barn Stage of Ray Hopper. Ray, a company member since 1959, struck up a close friendship with David Wood many years ago and has always urged Wick to put on one of his plays, saying that when they did he would return.
At last we have The Gingerbread Man and Ray, true to his word, has returned. His last performance was the 100th production in 1979 but during the 60’s he was in ‘practically everything’. Of his return he says he is “thoroughly enjoying a magic show”.
Another new face to the Barn is Andrew Cook. He joined Wick recently and has previous experience with the Gemini Players and M.A.D.D. Workshop.”
Review #1: The Gingerbread Man
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: January 13 1984 issue – page 13
Reviewer: Frank Horsley
Text Header: “The Gingerbread Man a captivating show!”
ANYONE who enjoys the BBC television series Playaway could not have failed to have been entranced by Wick Theatre Company’s latest production at the Barn Theatre, Southwick. Adults entering a world of make-believe and immersing themselves in their second childhood may not be everyone’s idea of fun. But David Wood is such a master of this type of light hearted musical play that only the crustiest of die-hards would not have been captivated by Wick’s version of The Gingerbread Man.
The action is set on a kitchen dresser and follows the fortunes – among other things – of a cuckoo clock figure who has lost his voice, a much hated ‘old [tea] bag’ complete with perforations, a mouse prone to Spoonerisms and the hero of the piece – the freshly cooked gingerbread man.
Much of the play’s animation is due to the clever two-tier set and enormous credit must go to those who constructed it. Namely Brian Box, David Comber, Mark Flower, Ron Cheesman, Mike Davy and production designer Ralph Dawes. Against this background the eight-strong cast performed admirably under Betty Dawes, instilling great vibrancy into the nimble script and song and dance routines.
Particularly impressive was Ray Hopper, a friend of the author, making a welcome return to Wick as Sleek the Mouse. He was well backed up by the other principals Ralph Dawes [Herr Von Cuckoo], Eddie Roberts [Salt], Miranda Bowen [Pepper] – who also choreographed – Andrew Cook [The Gingerbread Man] and Sally Bacon [the Old Bag].
Ronald Cheesman was the producer, Myra Gristwood the musical director and Daphne Thornton the accompanist.
Review #2: The Gingerbread Man
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: Unnown
Reviewer: Walter Hix
Text Header: “Mafia”
The Gingerbread Man, currently in production by the Wick Theatre Company at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, is all that it was made out to be. It is an enchanting little tale of an animated condiment sets and a cuckoo clock, not to mention Sleek, a Mafia mouse and, of course, a gingerbread man.
It really is a play for children that adults can enjoy. Eddie Roberts is Salt [a sailor, of course] and a very jolly fellow he is, his companion Pepper is the stylishly dressed Miranda Bowen. Sally Bacon is the irascible Old [tea] Bag and Ralph Dawes the cuckoo cloak suffering from a toad in the throat – being a foreigner he cannot readily distinguish between a frog and a toad.
Good as all these people are, the star of the show to me was Ray Hopper as Sleek. This Sleek is something of a gangster accustomed to throwing his weight about. Ray is splendid with a first class make-up. Darn it, he looks like a mouse. Andrew Cook in the title rôle is lively, athletic and freshly baked.