Musical Director Damien Slingsby - stage production "Catch Me If You Can"

Dramatic Productions, Gungahlin College Theatre, 27 May 2016 to 12 Jun 2016.  Book by Terrence McNally. Lyrics by Marc Shaiman. Music by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.

Reviews of the show have been favourable for all the cast and crew. From the City News Review "Damien Slingsby achieves a slick, professional sound from his excellent orchestra, with a team of pit singers augmenting the on-stage ensemble". For full review click here

From the Canberra Times Review "Under Damien Slingsby's musical direction, the orchestra, though occasionally overpowering a singer with its big band sound, injected the show with foot-jigging accompaniment to the songs. For the full review click here.

From the Canberra Critics Circle "Musical direction by Damien Slingsby was very strong and the orchestra played the music well." For the full review click here.


Musical Director Damien Slingsby - stage production "Into The Woods" by Dramatic Productions Canberra September 2015

Canberra Critic Circle 1By Peter Wilkins.  "Musically, Sondheim is the great experimenter with angular harmonies, complex rhythms and a diverse range of styles, inherited from the classics, pop and folk... Under Damien Slingsby’s superb musical direction, singers and orchestra evoke the atmosphere of Sondheim’s moral musical. The orchestra never intrudes, complementing perfectly the performances upon the stage."

Canberra Critic Circle Review 2 By Frank McCone. "Finally, the musicianship of the orchestra, directed by Damien Slingsby, must not be forgotten.  Sondheim writes ‘difficult’ music, and this 16-piece orchestra made it a joy to listen to, in combination with singers all of whom mastered what I, as an amateur, would call ‘musical jumps’ – like an obstacle course for an Olympic horse-riding team."

Canberra Critic Circle 3 By Len Power "Damien Slingsby has done excellent work with the musical direction and his orchestra play the difficult score very well."

Stage Whispers Review. By Cathy Bannister "The music is a strength of the production, a credit to musical director Damien Slingsby. The phrasing, pitch and timing were spot on."

City News Review. By Bill Stephens. "Full marks also to musical director, Damien Slingsby, who accomplishes an excellent balance between the singers and orchestra."

Little Egypt Burlesque -  Introducing Damien Slingsby as Freddy Arvin

Think West Coast. 1950s. The scorching sounds of rhythm 'n' blues. Creative director McGuiness wants us 'to feel like they awoke in Jerry Leiber’s body in an LA club in 1952'. Slingsby, as Freddy Arvin, is very much a part of the theatrical experience.

Not only does Slingsby bang a mean box, he cuts as rude a swathe as Fess or Dr. John.

Click here for full review. Click here for a little taste of Damien performing in the show. 

With BoB - Canberra FrogFest

Canberra Jazz Blog Spot (broken link Prog folk folk 2)  May 2012

Still at FrogFest, and I was to see Ben Hauptmann’s band, BoB.

BoB features Ben Hauptmann (guitar) with Julian Banks (tenor sax), Damien Slingsby (keys) and Evan Mannell (drums).

BoB was a totally different experience. Highly trained playing that was tight, richly improvised and ornamented and arresting in concept and in performance.

It started with a subtle but mobile solo on keys from Damien, precise and understated, then into melodies that spoke of folk song and solos with long crescendos that built steadily and unerringly.

Ben’s guitar is always honest and impressive, sharply toned and with a touch of banjo or country-hick influence.

Julian entered on tenor for several melodies but I was surprised his solos seemed so few in number.

Damien reappeared for solos, but I particularly liked his presence as organ bass and piano/organ accompaniment.

I was particularly following Evan. I seldom have much to say about drummers, but I was dazzled by this display: rock solid and stable beats, singular grooves of deadened snare and toms or smashing cymbals. All the time with precision and delicacy and refreshing, committed fills. I heard this as a master class in rock drumming.

Damien with Jo Loth in Mind Games

Loth is an incredibly skilled and committed performer, swapping between personas at a moment’s notice and bringing each character to life with rich physicality and a distinctive vocal quality.

Her accompanist Damien Slingsby is a wonder, accompanying both on piano and electric guitar, expertly beat-boxing and even singing a song of his own which touches the heart with its simplicity and sincere emotion.

Extract from Cabaret Review on June 8, 2012 at 2:29 am Intense, Evocative – and enlightening… By Bradley Storer

Damien in a Glass of Twilight

Drysdale and lighting designer, Michael Richards, have achieved a dramatic effect in this play by dimming the lights in between segments of the letters, whilst the character moved to different parts of the stage. However, it is the beautiful and competent music by composer Damien Slingsby in these darkened moments that creates an atmosphere of emotional outpouring. Slingsby played a continuous themed composition, which provided moments of climatic tension to the piece. Extract from article posted on October 27th, 2007 by loadedog. A Glass of Twilight and Untitled Monologue By Daniel Keene. Reviewer: Laura McHugh