About

As told by Edgell Junior

A tiny girl finds strength to survive the wildest of winds and raging rivers in this triumphant true tale from South Australia’s own trailblazing theatre company Slingsby.

Do you know the story of the river that ran uphill? With a cyclone at its centre, this is a story of the collision between nature and humanity set in the Pacific Islands. Our young protagonist demonstrates courage in the face of adversity to remind us how important it is to come together as a community in our weakest moments. It’s a story that shows audiences, young and old, how the seemingly impossible can become possible when we work together.

In 2015, Cyclone Pam ravaged the South Pacific. Edgell Junior, a Ni-Vanuatu man from Pentecost Island and member of Slingsby’s Flying Squad ensemble, experienced and survived Cyclone Pam and its aftermath. Based on his lived experience, this moving production emphasises the real importance of community cooperation and resilience.

The River That Ran Uphill drops the audience in the eye of the storm. As the waters rise, this story carries forward a message of warning and, perhaps, a raft of hope.

Touring

Canberra Theatre Centre (30 May – 1 June 2024)
The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre

Schools Performances
-Thursday 30 May, 10am, 1pm
-Friday 31 May, 9.30am, 12pm and 3pm
Note: Friday 31 May performances are only for schools participating in ACT UP! 2024 and include a post-show Q&A.
Book here

General Public Performances
-Thursday 30 May, 7pm
-Saturday 1 June, 2pm and 7pm
Book here

Sydney Opera House (25-27 July 2024)
The Playhouse, Sydney Opera House

Schools Performances (Upper Stage 2-6)
– Thursday 25 July, 10am and 12.15pm
– Friday 26 July, 10am and 12.15pm
Book here

General Public Performances
– Thursday 25 July, 7pm
– Saturday 27 July, 11am and 2pm
Book here

Meet the creative team

Edgell Junior Edgell

Flying Squad Member

Edgell is a proud Ni-Vanuatu man (from Pentecost Island), now living in Adelaide. From 2011 - 2019, Edgell was a core ensemble member of internationally renowned Wan Smolbag Theatre (Port Vila, Vanuatu), who work year round, producing, devising and touring plays, films, short videos, workshops programs and educational recourses.

Edgell is a proud Ni-Vanuatu man (from Pentecost Island), now living in Adelaide. From 2011 – 2019, Edgell was a core ensemble member of internationally renowned Wan Smolbag Theatre (Port Vila, Vanuatu), who work year round, producing, devising and touring plays, films, short videos, workshops programs and educational recourses.

Jennifer Stefanidis

Flying Squad Member

Jennifer Stefanidis (στις Έλληνες, Ευγενία Στεφανίδη) is a multidisciplinary Greek-Australian artist and performer. Bringing with her a strong background in singing, she trained as an actor within the Flinders Drama Centre under the leadership of Tom Healey and Renato Musolino. Jennifer has expressed a keen interest in devised work both onstage and onscreen, and is enthusiastic to expand upon her musicianship, as well as her capabilities as a dramaturg and theatre-maker.

Elleni Karagiannidis

Flying Squad Member

Elleni Karagiannidis is a local artist living and working on Kaurna land, Adelaide.

Elleni Karagiannidis is a local artist living and working on Kaurna land, Adelaide. As a first generation Australian from a Greek Cypriot family, Elleni has always been surrounded by music, dance and stories of wondrous places both afar and home. It was therefore inevitable that her fascination for storytelling would lead her to a love for theatre. Since graduating from the Flinders University Drama Centre in 2007, Elleni has utilised her skills, knowledge and passion for the arts, as an actor, puppeteer, director, facilitator and program coordinator. Elleni has recently returned to Adelaide with her new family after living in Melbourne for 5 years. She is thrilled to be working with Slingsby as an ensemble member of The Flyng Squad, bringing new, captivating and beautiful theatre to audiences around our gorgeous state.

Andy Packer

CEO & Artistic Director

Andy is an award-winning director of theatre, music theatre and opera.

Andy is an award-winning director of theatre, music theatre and opera. He has also worked as creative producer of multidisciplinary arts programs, creative director of large-scale events and festival director. In 2007 Andy co-founded Adelaide based theatre company Slingsby. The company is now well-established as a leading international immersive theatre company, having toured to more than 170 venues, with over 1,000 performances across 13 countries and counting.

Andy is renowned for creating original live performance moments that are emotionally powerful and visually bold. His work across theatre for young audiences, opera, cabaret, music theatre and symphonic concerts has pushed him to develop a distinctive theatrical aesthetic that is at once personal and epic.

Andy has directed productions and events for Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, State Opera of South Australia, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Chamber Singers, Australian String Quartet, Windmill Theatre, Restless Dance, Tutti Ensemble, Rundle Mall Management Authority and the International Astronautical Federation. In 2019 Andy was Show Director for the World of Wearable Art Awards Show in Wellington, New Zealand.

Quincy Grant

Composer

Quincy Grant composes music for theatre, concert stage and film.

Quincy lives as a freelance composer on commissions from musicians around Australia and internationally. He has written and performed a lot of music for the theatre, working with companies such as Slingsby, Circa, Brink Productions, Queensland Theatre, and State Theatre SA.  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, sweet light classical tunes with The Horizon Quartet, and rollicking sea-song rock with Mumpsimus. He is co-director of The Firm, a company that presents concerts each year featuring Australian classical musicians in programs of new Australian music along-side interesting repertoire.  In 2020 he is writing a new opera, When the Rain Stops Falling, with Andrew Bovell, co-creating a new Slingsby production for the 2021 Adelaide Festival, and composing a music theatre work with writer Kathryn Marquet for Little Match Productions, Brisbane.

Wendy Todd

Designer

Wendy is an Adelaide based designer of theatre, events and spaces. Wendy has worked extensively with Slingsby since 2007.

Wendy is an Adelaide based designer of theatre, events and spaces. Recent production designs (Set & Costume Design for all productions) include: Nursery 2014, (Sally Chance Dance), Babyteeth 2013, Blasted 2012, Pornography 2012 (State Theatre Company of South Australia), Land & Sea 2012, Skip Miller’s Hit Songs 2011, Harbinger 2010 (Brink Productions), Man Covets Bird 2010, The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy 2007 (Slingsby), Worldhood 2011 (Australian Dance Theatre), A Lion In The Night 2012, The Little Green Tractor 2011 (Patch Theatre Company), Cutaway III, 2013 & II, 2012  (Vitalstatistix), Ruby Bruise 2010 (The Misery Children & Vitalstatistix). Recent event designs: Designer Blink Bar 2015 Adelaide Festival of Arts Precinct, Design Assistant/Coordinator Lola’s Pergola 2014, Design Coordinator of Barrio 2013 & 2012, Assistant Designer Persian Garden 2008 & 2006 (Late Night Clubs of the Adelaide Festival of Arts), Event and Gala Designer Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2015, Design Coordinator Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2014 (Adelaide Festival Centre), Bowerbird Design Markets 2014, 2013, 2012.

Darian Tregenza

Lighting Design & Technician

Darian is a lighting, vision, and multiskilled technician and designer from South Australia.

Since graduating from Adelaide College of the Arts’ technical production course, he has gained valuable experience through his time working in local venues, theatre and dance companies, at festivals, on installations, and events. He has toured extensively with shows such as Patch Theatre’s Yo Diddle Diddle, Anna Goldworthy’s Piano Lessons, Slingsby Theatre’s The Young King, Emil & The Detectives, and The Boy Who Talked to Dogs among others.

Clara Solly-Slade

Director

Production Credits

What people are saying

“Directors Andy Packer and Clara Solly-Slade have done remarkable work, once again proving Slingsby’s international reputation for powerful, meaningful and inclusive theatre is beyond question.” InDaily

“It is a unique and brave piece of theatre and a courageous actor who leads this devastating story to its climax, and warns us that complacency will be our undoing.”

Glam Adelaide