Emil and the Detectives

Slingsby By Erich Kästner, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom
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Never underestimate the determination of a child!

When 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 rally around. Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the true criminal?

Adapted from Erich Kästner’s 1929 novella by Nicki Bloom, this production is more than a ‘good romp’ – it breaks 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.

In Slingsby’s (The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy) 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. Expect dark and light, intrigue and delight.

Explore the full Edinburgh International Children’s Festival programme.

Image: Andy Rasheed


  • DirectorAndy Packer
  • Lighting DesignerGeoff Cobham
  • Composer and Sound DesignerQuincy Grant
  • DesignerWendy Todd
  • Costume DesignerAilsa Paterson
  • Graphic DesignerAndy Ellis
  • Technical DesignerChris Petridis
  • Animation DirectorLuku Kukuku
  • PerformerElizabeth Hay
  • PerformerTim Overton

Behind the Scenes

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