The Tree of Light
A Concise Compendium of Wonder

Imagine stepping into an illustrated collection of fairytale-inspired worlds. Each contains a magical and hope-inspiring tale where fears are confronted, truths are wrinkled out, and themes both timeless and contemporary are explored. Three self-contained original stories, inspired by classic fairytales, intertwine and layer as a meaningful triptych. A Concise Compendium of Wonder examines humanity’s shifting relationship with nature across almost 2,000 years.

The Tree of Light is the first of this triptych of works. Written by award-winning Australian author Ceridwen Dovey, The Tree of Light is a radical reimagining to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. Set in the year 3099, when humans find themselves stranded on the Moon. This powerful and magical tale will transport audiences into the darkness of space. Offering hope for a return to our home planet and the chance to reconnect with lush forests. An invitation to once more live within nature, not separate from the natural world.

General Public Bookings – 2024 Preview Season [SOLD OUT]

The Tree of Light – Work in Development season tickets are available for purchase through Adelaide Festival. Visit the following link for more details:

2024 Preview Season – Schools [SOLD OUT]

Slingsby will present a 2-week season of schools’ preview performances of the work. This is an exciting opportunity for Slingsby to learn from student’s responses to the work, and a unique opportunity to bring our schools audiences on a multi-year journey leading up to the premiere of the completed triptych in 2026.

If you are interested in booking a performance for your school, please contact for further details.


Monday 26 February, 10am
Tuesday 27 February, 10am
Wednesday 28 February, 10am
Thursday 29 February, 10am
Friday 1 March, 10am
Friday 1 March, 12.30pm

Monday 18 March, 10am
Monday 18 March, 12.30pm
Tuesday 19 March, 10am
Tuesday 19 March, 12.30pm
Wednesday 20 March, 10am
Wednesday 20 March, 12.30pm
Thursday 21 March, 10am
Thursday 21 March, 12.30pm
Friday 22 March, 10am
Friday 22 March, 12.30pm

[All sessions SOLD OUT]

Meet the creative team

Ailsa Paterson


Ailsa has worked extensively as a set and costume designer in theatre, opera, dance, film and TV.

Ailsa completed the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Design (NIDA) in 2003. Costume Design credits for Slinsgby include Slingsby’s Flying Squad; The Boy Who Talked To Dogs; Emil and the Detectives; Mouse, Bird and Sausage; You, Me and the Bloody Sea and Ode to Nonsense. Design credits for State Theatre Company of SA include Sense and Sensibility, Switzerland, The 39 Steps, Beckett Triptych (Footfalls, Eh Joe, Krapp’s Last Tape), The Importance of Being Earnest, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, War Mother, The Ham Funeral, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), The Price and The Cripple of Inishmaan.  Costume Design credits include A Doll’s House, Things I Know to be True, Little Bird, The Seagull and Three Sisters. Other theatre design credits include The 39 Steps (Queensland Theatre), Yo Diddle Diddle and Cranky Bear (Patch), Vigil (Adelaide Cabaret Festival), Debut5 and Naturally (Restless) and Cloudstreet! (Costume Design, State Opera of SA).

Ailsa received the 2011 Mike Walsh Fellowship.

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.

Chris Petridis

Lighting Designer

Chris is a lighting and video designer from Adelaide. Following his completion of the Technical Production course at the Adelaide Centre of the Arts, Chris has continued to develop his experience across theatre, dance, and other live events in Australia and internationally

Chris is a Lighting and Video Designer. Following his completion of the Technical Production course at the Adelaide Centre of the Arts, Chris has continued to develop his experience across theatre, dance, and other live events in Australia including:

  • 2021: Creation Creation by Windmill Theatre Company; Hiccup! by Windmill Theatre Company; The Boy Who Talked to Dogs by Slingsby
  • 2020: The Bleeding Tree by Theatre Republic; Of All Things by Alison Currie for ADT; Anatomy of a Suicide by Flinders University Drama Centre; Lighthouse by Patch Theatre Company; Incognito by Flinders University Drama Centre
  • 2019: World of Wearable Art 2019; Madama Butterfly by State Opera of South Australia; A View from the Bridge by State Theatre Company SA; Cher by Vitalstatistix; ZOOM by Patch Theatre Company; 13 Ways to Look at Birds feat. Paul Kelly by GWB; Femme by Erin Fowler Projects; Zizanie by Restless.
  • 2018: Lines by Theatre Republic; World of Wearable Art 2018 with Bluebottle; SOLO (Sea Wall & Bitch Boxer) by Flying Penguin Productions; Julius Caesar by Flinders University Drama Centre; Songs for those who come across the Sea by Slingsby; Brothers Wreck by Malthouse Theatre & State Theatre; Baba Yaga by Windmill Theatre Company; Terrestrial by State Theatre Company of South Australia; In The Club by State Theatre; The Walk of Fame Gala by the Adelaide Festival Centre
  • 2017: Angelique by Is This Yours? ; Beep by Windmill Theatre Company ; Emil and the Detectives by Slingsby; Vigil by the Adelaide Cabaret Festival ; Mr Burns by State Theatre Company of South Australia & Belvoir St Theatre; Long Tan by Brink Productions 2016: Ingition 2016 by ADT; Love & Information by Flinders University Drama Centre; Juliet Letters by Flying Penguin Productions; Gorgon by State Theatre Company; Beginning of Nature (WOMAD) by ADT

David McLean

David joined Slingsby in 2022 for the Australian Tour of The Boy Who Talked to Dogs and from this has now joined the Company as their Production Manager.

David started working in theatre from 1979 to 1988 with the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust (AFCT) Production Department as a Mechanist and Flyman. 1n 1981 he went on his first tour with State Opera South Australia touring Regional South Australia with Don Pasquale and then again in 1982 with Cossi Van Tutti.

From 1889 through to 1994 he worked as Head Flyman / Rigger for the Australian Opera Company working mainly at The Sydney Opera House and Victorian Arts Centre and touring as required.

For the second half of 1994 through 1995 David was Head Mechanist with the Canberra Theatre Centre in the Australian Capital Territory.

Upon returning home to Adelaide South Australia in 1996 David was firstly Head Mechanist of the Festival Theatre and then from 2000 through to 2004 was Technical Coordinator for the AFCT Production Department.

From 2005 through to 2018 he was Production Manager for State Opera South Australia, Production Coordinator for Adelaide Fringe 2009, 20010, 2011, 2013 and a Production Coordinator for Adelaide Festival (AF) 2006 and 2008.

From 2019 through to 2023 David was the Production Manager for Adelaide Festival’s Operas.

Quincy Grant


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


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

What people are saying


Educational Resources

No Resources To Display!