I have had the luck and honor to see this “musical” twice, once in San Francisco and the other, New York. It is, BY FAR, the most innovative, beautiful, well acted, great timed theater I’ve ever seen AND it has, the Tiger Lillies, but I digress.


Shockhead Peter or Der Struwwelpeter (1845) is a popular German children’s book by Heinrich Hoffmann. It comprises ten illustratedand rhymed stories, mostly about children. Each has a clear moral that demonstrates the disastrous consequences of misbehavior in an exaggerated way. The title of the first story provides the title of the whole book. Literally translated, Struwwel-Peter means Shaggy-Peter.

The Tiger Lillies are a three-piece band, formed in 1989 and based in London. They have toured worldwide and won acclaim with their opera Shockheaded Peter.

Their surreal style has been described as dark, darkly humorous, strangely humorous, Brechtian, andgypsy cabaret. They are also notorious for singing controversial songs involving bestiality, prostitution and blasphemy. In 1999 their work was featured in the film Plunkett & Macleane.

Together, this theater group created a show that was a blend of Cabaret, puppetry, singing, Traditional theater and more.

Shockheaded Peter will probably never be performed by the creators but the Lillies do play in select cities here in the US. Go see them if you ever get the chance.

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