The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco (A.C.T.) production of the "wickedly popular junk opera," Shockheaded Peter, begins previews June 8. The show opens June 14 and is scheduled to run through July 16, marking the end of A.C.T.'s current season.
A.C.T.'s musical staging of Shockheaded Peter is based on a 19th Century German children's tale, "Struwwelpeter" ("Slovenly Peter"). As reported earlier, A.CT. artistic director Carey Perloff confirmed that Improbable Theatre co-founders Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch will direct the show.
Julian Bleach, Anthony Cairns, Tamzin Griffin, Ewan Hunter and Rebakah Wild will be performing Shockheaded Peter at A.C.T.
Shockheaded Peter concludes A.C.T.'s season with what Perloff described as "something rich and wonderful for a multigenerational audience." Described as a comically gruesome work reminiscent of Tim Burton or Edward Gorey, the musical staging of the play premiered in 1997 at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The production sold out 19 weeks at London's Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and again at both the New Victory in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The show has been visiting Australia, Canada and Israel.
Created and performed by Julian Bleach, Anthony Cairns, Graeme Gilmour, Tamzin Griffin and Jo Pocock, Shockheaded Peter also features music by the Tiger Lillies -- Martyn Jacques, Adrian Huge and Adrian Stout. The production was designed by Julian Crouch and Graeme Gilmour, as well as costume designer Kevin Pollard and lighting designer Jon Linstrum. Tickets for the A.C.T. production of Shockheaded Peter run $11 - $55 and are available at the Geary Theatre Box Office, 405 Geary Street in San Francisco. For info call (415) 749-2228.
-- By Murdoch McBride