About

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 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.

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.

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 and symphonic concerts has pushed him to develop a distinctive theatrical form that is at once personal and epic.

Andy has directed productions, concerts 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, Urban Myth Theatre of Youth, Southern Youth Theatre Ensemble, Restless Dance, Tutti Ensemble and Rundle Mall Management Authority.

Andy was Creative Producer of Programming at Carclew Youth Arts 2003-2006, Creative Producer of Family Events for Adelaide Fringe Festival 2007-2008 and Creative Director of Come Out Festival 2011.

Andy is on the Board of International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), based in Philadelphia, USA.

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).

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 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.

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.

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 (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