Inside an enchanting travelling theatre tent, discover a storyteller who shares a timeless tale. Cheeseboy’s home planet has been reduced to a bubbling fondue. Where are his parents? How did he become marooned on earth? Gypsies have given him a home, of sorts, but Cheeseboy is tugged this way and that by tides of strange longings and stranger powers. Imagine Oedipus meeting Edward Scissorhands, over a dish of exotic curds. With ingeniously simple lights and mirrors and set to lush original music by Quincy Grant, The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy will transport you to a fantastic world.

Slingsby’s inaugural production The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy has become the company’s “calling card”, opening doors around the world and earning 5-star reviews. Over 240 performances to more than 20,740 people in Singapore, USA, Canada, Spain, UK, Scotland, New Zealand and regional and metropolitan Australia since the show premiered in 2008 – not bad numbers for a little show-in-a-tent that seats 125 people.

The 2009 world tour of The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy won a Ruby Award, a South Australian arts and cultural award, for “Leadership in Arts Enterprise”.

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.

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.

Production Credits

  • Playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer
  • Director Andy Packer
  • Production Manager Roland Partis
  • Composer Quincy Grant
  • Performer Stephen Sheehan
  • Performer Sam McMahon
  • Designer Wendy Todd
  • Design Consultant Geoff Cobham
  • Lighting Design Geoff Cobham
  • Sound Design Nick O’Connor
  • New Media Artist Simone Mazengarb
  • New Media Consutlant Sophie Hyde
  • Illustrator Andy Ellis

Production Credits

What people are saying

“"***** [five stars]…so achingly magical and charming, so full of whimsicality and merry eccentricity.…this production, with consummate performances by Stephen Sheehan and Sam McMahon, [is] so life-affirming and uplifting…a marvel of exquisite theatre-craft.” ” The Herald, Scotland (May 2009)

“"The story of Cheeseboy's epic search for his parents…is worthy of its international acclaim." "… one is left profoundly impressed by director Andy Packer's fabulously stylish production." ” Sunday Herald, Scotland (May 2009)

“"There is a sense of otherworldliness about this enchanting piece of children's entertainment that's evident from the moment you step into the theatre with its tent-like canopy." ” The Daily Telegraph, Sydney (January 2009)

“"a serious story elegantly told…in a way that appeals to young audiences. Matching the story's poetry and structure is the theatrical trickery used for beautiful illusion while the mechanics are on full view amid the seated crowd."” Australian Stage Online (January 2008)

“"I really felt the light and sound effects took me on a mystical journey to a world of the unknown…it was truly a very different but very exciting journey. It made me remember back to 'James and The Giant Peach'." ”

Harry, student, Glen Osmond Primary School

Educational Resources