About

By Finegan Kruckemeyer

 

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

CEO & Artistic Director

Andy is a 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.

Since completing a BA in 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 thirteen years Slingsby has toured its original productions to more than 100 venues in 80 cities and towns across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, USA, Canada, UK, Scotland, Spain, Ireland and Norway, India and China winning 16 industry awards along the way.

Alongside Slingsby, Andy has built a freelance career as a Director of opera, musical theatre, cabaret and concerts. 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 and Australian String Quartet. In 2019 Andy was show director of the World of WearableArt Awards Show in Wellington, New Zealand’s largest theatrical event attracting an audience in excess of 60,000.

Andy and his wife Jane love living in Adelaide, South Australia with their three sons, nine chickens and retired greyhound.

Finegan Kruckemeyer

Playwright

Finegan has had 86 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into eight languages. He has received 35 awards (at least one each year since 2002) including the 2017 Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award (for services to international theatre for young audiences), the 2015 David Williamson Award for Excellence in Australian Playwrighting, and an inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship.

To date, Finegan’s plays have had seasons in: 200 international festivals; all Australian states/territories; eight US national tours; five UK national tours; and at the Sydney Opera House (six works), Scotland’s Imaginate Festival (three works), New York’s Lincoln Center for the Arts (three works), DC’s Kennedy Center for the Arts (three works), Ireland’s Abbey Theatre (two works) and Shanghai’s Malan Flower Theatre (two works).

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.

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.

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

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

“"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

“"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

“"...a masterclass in storytelling."” The Irish Times

“"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

“"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