***** "A remarkable show...for anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned story, told with warmth, heart and sheer inventive skill.”

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom

Never underestimate the determination of a child! Young Emil catches a train to visit family in the big city. Something valuable is stolen. But the thief soon discovers Emil was not such an easy target. A group of quick-thinking and resourceful children rallies around. Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the true criminal?

Kästner’s 1929 novella is more than a ‘good romp’, it broke ground for the independent-children-versus-devious-adults story genre. Streetwise city kids, a hard-working single mother and Emil’s past brush with the law add grit and nuance to this satisfying tale.

How do we find our friends in the world? How do we work together to defeat tricksters?

In Slingsby’s signature intimate theatrical style, Emil and The Detectives is told by two skilled actors immersed in smoke and mirrors, miniature worlds and a cinematic score. Dark and light, intrigue and delight for audiences aged eight and upwards.

Winner of the 2018 Helpmann Award, Best Presentation for Children

Venue Format
Theatre, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
Touring Party

The production contains very precise lighting effects requiring 4 x Robe Robin BMFL Blade fixtures OR 4 x Clay Paky Scenius Unicos. Alternative fixtures are not negotiable.

Enter a Slingsby show and you enter a captivating world. We invite you to ‘Journey in Wonder’ with us. It may be dark and you may feel uneasy. That’s only natural. You are not alone. See that light in the distance? Take our hands. We know the way.

Founded in 2007 and based in Adelaide, South Australia, Slingsby presents emotionally challenging and engaging storytelling in rich live theatrical realms. Our original productions are crafted to challenge and inspire adult and older family audiences.

Slingsby is named after a character in Edward Lear’s short story The Four Little People Who Went Round The World. Indeed, the company’s adventures have taken it far. We are now well-established as a leading international company having toured to more than 100 venues across 12 countries, and counting.

Artistic Director Andy Packer and General Manager, Producer Stacey Baldwin collaborate with Australia’s finest artists across many disciplines and foster international theatrical alliances.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

A visually stunning show that appeals to a broad age range including schools, families and general theatre audiences. The story speaks to children's freedoms in contemporary society and their ability to problem solve and demand change. At is core this show asks the question: what makes a town and town? The answer - its people.

Winner of the 2018 Helpmann Award, Best Presentation for Children

Marketing Materials

Extensive Marketing Materials including:

  • Education Resources (multiple)
  • Promo videos (multiple)
  • Marketing Guide
  • High Res Images
  • Premiere Season Audience Program
  • Review Quotes

Community Engagement

Pre and post show activities available where the audience make elements used in the performances. To make this possible Slingsby works with, inducts and costumes two local artists/performers to be our Train Attendants. Slingsby is also able to run workshops sharing our theatre making techniques. The workshops can be tailored for schools, community or professionals.