“This is a place I can be. This is a place I can be me”.

Young Marty is a triplet. One of three, only he is the odd one out, the runt of the litter. No one understands him, except his dogs. Locked in the coal shed at night, Martin finds solace from the iciness of a troubled home in 1970’s Ireland, by cuddling up to his German Shepherds, Major and Rex.

When he runs away at thirteen, Marty is adopted by a pack of six stray dogs. Together they survive on the road, ignoring “do not enter” signs, dodging trains, stealing milk bottles and meals from open kitchen windows, fizzing and whizzing with energy – outcasts on the outskirts. Emerging as pack leader, Marty discovers deeper ways to communicate with the dogs, learning tricks that lead him back to human company – and a new place where he “can be me”.

Based on the true story of Nimbin’s famous “Dogman”, who grew up in Garryowen, Limerick. Join us on stage for cabaret seating for this tough but tender tale, a celebration of the love of animals we share our homes and lives, starring acclaimed Dublin actor Bryan Burroughs amidst a dazzling array of shadows, songs and stellar musicianship. Live music from 5.30pm

DIRECTOR: Andy Packer
COMPOSER: Quincy Grant
DESIGNER: Wendy Todd
STARRING: Bryan Burroughs, Victoria Falconer, Quincy Grant and Emma Luker

The Boy Who Talked to Dogs is suitable for ages 12+, Contains themes of domestic violence, theatrical smoke effects and loud noises

Image Andy Rasheed


For Schools both performances and workshops are available. Read about the performance here and about the workshop below.


In September award winning theatre company Slingsby brings The Boy Who Talked to Dogs to Renmark and Mount Gambier. Fusing shadow puppetry, swinging Irish music and stunning physical performance to bring ‘Dog Man’ Martin McKenna’s epic true story to the stage.
Young Marty is a triplet. One of three, only he is the odd one out, the runt of the litter. No one understands him, except his dogs. Based on the best-selling memoir, The Boy Who Talked to Dogs.
Book your class in now via the form below to enjoy a tale of celebration of the love of animals we share our homes and lives with.
Suitable for ages 12+

Slingsby Theatre Techniques: Shadow & Miniaturisation

Over the past 14 years, Slingsby has developed a distinctive look and feel to its theatre making. From The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy (2007) to The Boy Who Talked to Dogs (2021), each show has incorporated elements of shadow play, miniaturisation and sustained moments of image and sound. Through this hands-on workshop students will discover how these techniques can be used in storytelling to create their own short pieces of theatre.

Maximum 30 pax
Suitable for grades 7 to 12
Duration ranging from 50 to 100 minutes

The Boy Who Talked To Dogs is supported by

Following George Walker
  • Theatre

Following George Walker

15th August 2022 — 16th August 2022

Presented by Country Arts SA, Brink Productions

Following George Walker is inspired by the life of Adelaide actor Rory Walker’s great grandfather George W Walker: a vaudevillian and impresario who toured Australia in the early 20th century.

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