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About

by Erich Kästner, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom

Never underestimate the determination of a child! Young Emil catches a train to visit family in the big city. Something valuable is stolen. But the thief soon discovers Emil was not such an easy target. A group of quick-thinking and resourceful children rallies around. Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the true criminal?

Kästner’s 1929 novella is more than a ‘good romp’, it broke ground for the independent-children-versus-devious-adults story genre. Streetwise city kids, a hard-working single mother and Emil’s past brush with the law add grit and nuance to this satisfying tale.

How do we find our friends in the world? How do we work together to defeat tricksters?

In Slingsby’s signature intimate theatrical style, Emil and The Detectives is told by two skilled actors immersed in smoke and mirrors, miniature worlds and a cinematic score. Dark and light, intrigue and delight for audiences aged eight and upwards.

Highlights reel

Meet the creative team

Andy Packer

Artistic Director

Andy co-founded Slingsby Theatre Company as Artistic Director. In ten years Slingsby has toured its original productions to 70 venues in 44 cities all over Australia and the world.

Since completing a BA of Theatre Studies at Adelaide University in 1992, Andy’s arts career has encompassed many roles including Creative Producer, ensemble Actor/Creator and Festival Director. In 2007 Andy co-founded Slingsby Theatre Company as Artistic Director. In ten years Slingsby has toured its original productions to 70 venues in 44 cities and towns across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, USA, Canada, UK, Scotland, Spain, Ireland and Norway, winning 14 industry awards along the way.

Alongside Slingsby, Andy has built a freelance career as a Director of opera, musical theatre, cabaret and concerts. Most recently Andy directed Vigil, written by Steve Vizard and Joe Chindamo and starring Christie Whelan-Browne for Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017 (4.5 stars, Limelight). Andy has Directed for State Theatre Company of South Australia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, State Opera of South Australia, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival of Arts and Adelaide Chamber Singers. Andy is respected nationally and internationally for creating moments of human intimacy and emotional truth in both intimate one hander productions and in large operatic and orchestral scale works, for child, family and adult audiences.

In January 2016 Andy became the first Australian to join the Board of Management of Philadelphia-based IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth).

Andy and his wife Jane love living in Adelaide with their three school-age sons and retired greyhound.

Nicki Bloom

Playwright

Nicki Bloom is an Adelaide-based writer. Her plays have been produced throughout Australia and internationally, and have won multiple awards.

Her plays include TENDER, BLOODWOOD, THE SUN AND THE OTHER STARS, LAND & SEA, A CATHEDRAL, LITTLE BIRD and VALE. Awards include the Adrian Consett Stephen Memorial Prize and the 2007 Inscription Chairman’s Award (TENDER); the 2008 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and the 2009 Inscription Playwriting Award (BLOODWOOD); the 2012 Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship and the 2012 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award (THE SUN AND THE OTHER STARS); the 2012 Jill Blewett Award (A CATHEDRAL) and the 2015 AWGIE for Best Writing for Music Theatre (LITTLE BIRD).

She has also worked as an adaptor, creating new versions of Ibsen’s GHOSTS, Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET and Oscar Wilde’s THE YOUNG KING.

She has been twice nominated for Helpmann awards, in 2015 (Best New Australian Work, LITTLE BIRD and 2016 (Best Production Children’s Theatre, THE YOUNG KING.)

Her plays are published by Currency Press and Phoenix Educational Press.

Quincy Grant

Artistic Associate - Composer

Quincy is an Adelaide based director of theatre, music theatre and opera. He has also worked as creative producer of multidisciplinary arts programs, producer of large-scale outdoor events and festival director. Quincy is an Adelaide based director of theatre, music theatre and opera.

Quincy Grant composes music for theatre, concert stage and film. His work includes music for plays such as The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy, and When the Rain Stops Falling; many works for orchestra that have been played in Germany, Canada, and by the leading Australian orchestras; and soundtracks for films and documentaries broadcast on the ABC and SBS. He also writes for concert performances and film, and plays in many groups: from rock to new music and, most recently wild gypsy music with Golonka.

He is co-director of The Firm, a company that presents concerts each year featuring Australian classical musicians in programmes of new Australian music along side interesting repertoire. In 2013 his first opera, An Ode to Nonsense, was premiered by Slingsby and the State Opera of South Australia.

This is the seventh wonderful show he has done with Slingsby!

Quincy lives in Adelaide with four dear ones – Anna, Arland, Clara and Miranda.

Geoff Cobham

Artstic Associate - Lighting

Geoff has worked as an Event Producer, Production Manager, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, Public Artist and Venue Designer. His work has ranged from many smaller innovative productions to large scale theatre/dance productions, festivals, art exhibitions, events, museums and venue creation.

Awards include: Ruby Award for Sustained Contribution, Green Room Award Best lighting Design for Night Letters (State Theatre Company of South Australia), Sydney Theatre Award Best Lighting Design for Never Did Me Any Harm (Force Majeure), Helpman Award for Best Scenic Design for Little Bird (State Theatre Company of South Australia). Geoff is Artistic Associate (Design) for Slingsby.

Ailsa Paterson

Designer

Ailsa completed the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Design (NIDA) in 2003.

Ailsa completed the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Design (NIDA) in 2003.

Design credits for State Theatre Comoany of SA include A Doll’s House, The 39 Steps, Things I Know to Be True, Betrayal, Beckett Triptych, The Importance of Being Earnest, Hedda Gabler, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, War Mother, The Ham Funeral, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), The Price, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Little Bird, The Seagull and Three Sisters. Design credits for Slingsby include Ode to Nonsense and Mouse, Bird and Sausage. Designs for Patch include Cranky Bear and Yo Diddle Diddle.   Ailsa was Costume Designer for Cloudstreet (State Opera of SA.)

Ailsa received the 2011 Mike Walsh Fellowship.

Stacey Baldwin

General Manager/Producer

Stacey has worked with leading Victorian arts organisations such as Back to Back Theatre, Melbourne Festival, Insite Arts, Big West and Jodee Mundy Collaborations.

Stacey relocated from Melbourne in February 2017 to take on the role of General Manager/Producer for Slingsby. She has worked with leading Victorian arts organisations such as Back to Back Theatre, Melbourne Festival, Insite Arts, Big West and Jodee Mundy Collaborations.

As well as producing projects, Stacey is a self confessed systems nerd, working with organisations to support them through periods of change and implement structures to find better ways of working.

Production Credits

  • Director Andy Packer
  • Playwright Nicki Bloom
  • Performer Elizabeth Hay
  • Performer Tim Overton
  • Lighting Design Geoff Cobham
  • Composer and Sound Design Quincy Grant
  • Designer Wendy Todd
  • Costume Designer Ailsa Paterson
  • Graphic Design Andy Ellis
  • Technical Design Chris Petridis
  • Animation Director Luku Kukuku
  • Production Manager Roland Partis
  • Venue Manager Van Locker
  • Technician Mark Oakley
  • Stage Manager Sophie Edwards
  • Assistant Stage Manager Brad Thomson
  • Front of House Bespoke, Peta-Anne Louth
  • Education Consultant Hannah McCarthy-Oliver
  • General Manager/Producer Stacey Baldwin

Production Credits

What people are saying

“…the world is a better place for having a company like Slingsby in it.” Sky Harrison, Aspire Magazine (11 March 2016)

“The attention to detail is phenomenal…. The Young King is charming, majestic and utterly delightful and a beautiful jewel in the Adelaide Festival crown.” Gordon Forester, Limelight (27 February 2016)

“Ode to Nonsense is curiously but wonderfully elating” Graham Strahle, The Australian (30 April 2013)

“It is theatre like the work Slingsby produces which makes us all imagine a better and happier world. If more theatre were like this, the world would be a magical place indeed.”

Australian Stage Online