• Covid-19 update: 

    In line with Queensland Health COVID Safe measures, QPAC is operating at 100% capacity with patrons required to wear masks at all times.

    All patrons are required to register via the Check In Qld app on arrival.

    Please be assured that we are prioritising the wellbeing of our visitors, artists, crew and staff.

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, when a sinister stranger steals something valuable. But the thief soon discovers Emil was not such an easy target. A group of quick-thinking and resourceful children rally around Emil. Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the true criminal?

Based on Erich Kästner’s 1929 novella, this is a story about courage and self-discovery, the value of friendships and taking risks, and the empowerment of young people. Streetwise city kids, a hard-working single mother and Emil’s past brush with the law add grit and nuance to this satisfying tale.

Using projections, shadow puppets and 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

“Emil and the Detectives is an outstanding piece of children’s theatre which makes it an outstanding piece of theatre and an experience to be savoured by all.”  InDaily (Adelaide)
“The performances are pitch perfect... Watching these detectives is a theatrical delight.” The Australian

Starring Kate Cheel and Tim Overton
Director Andy Packer
Playwright Nicki Bloom
Composer and Sound Design Quincy Grant
Designer Wendy Todd
Costume Designer Ailsa Paterson
Lighting Designer Geoff Cobham
Technical Design Chris Petridis
Animation Director Luku Trembath
Producer Stacey Baldwin

  • Age Recommendation:

    For adults and children 8 years old and above.

  • Please note:

    This performance contains lighting effects, haze and smoke effects.

  • Connecting safely at QPAC

    QPAC is currently operating at 100% capacityi under a COVID Safe Plan approved by Queensland Health. masks are a requirement of entry to be worn at all times until otherwise advised. Please bring your own mask with you. For contact tracing purposes we are using the Check In Qld app and encourage all patrons to download the app and fill out their details prior to attending performances at QPAC. Find out more.

  • The Safest Way to Buy!

    QTIX is the official ticketing service for QPAC and Emil and The Detectives. Selected packages are sold through authorised resellers only. Any tickets purchased through unauthorised sales channels may be seized or cancelled without refund or exchange and the bearer of the ticket may be denied admission. Unauthorised sales channels include Viagogo, eBay and Gumtree. Read more about purchasing tickets online.

Presented by QPAC

Slingsby is supported by the Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia, and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Pricing Guide

Admission All tickets $35
Schools i Admission $25 One teacher free per ten students booked

18 months and under free on the knee

A transaction fee of $7.20 applies per transaction. Selected ticket delivery methods may incur an additional charge. The minimum price listed may be available for selected performances only. Please see the event calendar when booking for the available date(s) and time(s) of this performance.

Education Resources

  • Study Guide – Recommended for Years 3 to 12

    This guide has been created to help students connect the themes and concepts of this show, give historical background, suggest classroom activities and assist with review writing.

    Download Here
  • Curriculum Links

    Australian National Curriculum and SACE Links for Drama and English Students.

    Download Here
  • Activity Book

    Materials and activities developed to support younger student audiences get the most out of their theatre experience.

    Download Here