The Boy Who Talked to Dogs

The Boy Who Talked to Dogs photo by Andy EllisAdapted for the stage by Amy Conroy, Slingsby and State Theatre Company South Australia, in association with Adelaide Festival presents the world premiere of The Boy Who Talked to Dogs by Martin McKenna at the Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio – Adelaide Showgrounds from 25 February 2021.

Young Martin is a misfit. Bullied at school and misunderstood at home, his only comfort comes from sneaking off to the family coal shed to bond with his German Shepherds, Major and Rex.

When things reach breaking point, the 13 year old runs away from his home in Limerick, Ireland, and finds himself taken in by a new family – a pack of stray dogs. As they dodge trains, steal meals and fight for survival, Martin finds himself on the road he was always meant to take.

Based on the best-selling memoir, this rough-and-tumble tale, starring acclaimed Irish actor Bryan Burroughs, fuses shadow puppetry, swinging Irish music and stunning physical performance to bring Byron Bay ‘Dog Man’ Martin McKenna’s epic true story to the stage for the first time.

Beautifully adapted by Irish playwright Amy Conroy, The Boy Who Talked to Dogs is a magical and mischievous tale of transformation, redemption, and what happens when the underdog finds his pack.

“We are thrilled to be embarking on this international collaboration,” says Director Andy Packer. “A tale of triumphing over shadows by learning to be your own hero, plus a few new tricks along the way.”

Mitchell Butel, Artistic Director, State Theatre Company South Australia added “I’m thrilled that we’re collaborating with Slingsby on this incredible story. It will break your heart then lick your wounds and heal you.”

Director: Andy Packer Featuring: Bryan Burroughs, Victoria Falconer, Quincy Grant, Emma Luker Songwriter: Lisa O’Neill Composer: Quincy Grant Set Designer: Wendy Todd Lighting Designer: Chris Petridis Costume Designer: Ailsa Paterson

The Boy Who Talked to Dogs
Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio – Adelaide Showgrounds, Goodwood Road, Wayville (Adelaide)
Season: 25 February – 14 March 2021

For more information, visit: or for details.

Image: The Boy Who Talked to Dogs – photo by Andy Ellis