ABOUT THE SHOW

This wonderful musical was first presented in 2005 at the lakeside Walensee Festival in Walenstadt, Switzerland. The show played a series of highly successful performances and was also produced at the State Theater in Dessau, Germany. Due to the enormous success of “Heidi 1″ the authors were commissioned to write a total of three different productions of the musical. “Heidi 2″ opened in Walenstadt in 2007 and also played in 2008.

The current production is the ultimate and enhanced version of the play. New scenes and wonderful songs have been written by the authors Shaun McKenna and Stephen Keeling. The new score is beautifully arranged by the Swiss orchestrator Stefan Mens.

The ‘ultimate’ HEIDI has just celebrated a very successful workshop in London. A new workshop will be presented in London by early 2015, after which first licensed productions will be presented.

THE STORY

When Johanna Spyri’s young son falls ill, all she can do to comfort him is tell him stories.  The story he most wants to hear, and helps to invent, is that of Heidi, the small Swiss girl who touches the lives of all around her – Peter the goat boy, her grumpy Grandfather and the villagers in the Alpine Dörfli.  When Heidi is whisked away to new adventures in Frankfurt with the wealthy but crippled Klara and the tyrannical Fräulein Rottenmeier, neither she nor Johanna is prepared for the dramatic twists her story will take.  Heidi is a fresh, funny, heartwarming family musical, a sparkling new version of a much loved classic tale.

All songs composed by Stephen Keeling with lyrics by Shaun McKenna

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MEET THE AUTHORS

Shaun McKenna – BOOK & LYRICS

Shaun McKenna is an award-winning dramatist, screenwriter and lyricist.

Musical theatre credits include the Book for the forthcoming Glenn Miller musical Feelin’ In The Mood which opens in the West End in late 2015. With director Matthew Warchus, he wrote Book and Lyrics for the 2006-2008 stage version of The Lord of the Rings in Toronto and London (SOBOM Outstanding Achievement Award, DORA Award Best Musical and Olivier Award Best Musical nomination). A new version of the show begins a world tour in 2015.

Other West End credits include Book & Lyrics for Maddie in 1997, Book for Lautrec in 2000 (written with Charles Aznavour) and additional Lyrics for La Cava (2000). At the Edinburgh Festival hits have included Book and Lyrics for Terry Pratchett’s Only You Can Save Mankind in 2005 and Murder Mystery Musical in 2009. The original production of Heidi and its sequel ran in Switzerland and Germany between 2005-2008 and was nominated for the Prix Walo.   His most recent musical Last Dance played for a limited run off Broadway in 2012 and he has three other musical theatre projects in various stages of development.

Recent non-musical theatre work has included the 2014 adaptation of Peter James’ The Perfect Murder, which will be followed in 2015 with a stage version of Peter’s most popular book, Dead Simple. Shaun’s 2012 stage adaptation of Ladies In Lavender with Hayley Mills and Belinda Lang won five Broadway World UK awards including Best Regional Play. He has two further plays under commission.  His theatre career began in the 1990s with three commissions from the Royal, Northampton – How Green Was My Valley, To Serve Them All My Days and an original play, Ruling Passions

TV commissions include the two-part thriller Cuckoo, The Crooked Man, Like Father Like Son, three series of Heartbeat (his first episode won a Royal Television Society award for Best Drama) and Doctors. He wrote the recent documentary series Great West End Theatres on Sky Arts presented by Sir Donald Sinden. He has a six part espionage series in development with ITV and a feature film thriller.

Shaun has extensive radio credits. He is a core writer on the epic 600-episode BBC series Home Front, which began in August 2014 and will run for four years as part of the World War I commemorations.   He has recently been commissioned to adapt John Galsworthy’s Forsyte novels for Radio 4. Other recent radio credits include the Complete Smiley, Marnie, East of Eden, Meeting Jack, Me And Little Boots, To Serve Them All My Days and Brother Dusty Feet.

Arena shows include Ben Hur Live which premiered at the O2 in 2009 and was revived in Rome in 2011. His new arena show, co-devised with Broadway director Philip Wm. McKinley, is The Bible: In The Beginning expected to premiere in the USA in 2016.

For more information visit www.shaunmckenna.net or follow him on Twitter @SMcKennawriter.

Stephen Keeling – MUSIC

Born in Staffordshire, England, Stephen trained at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, gaining an honours degree in music. He was chosen by Sir Cameron Mackintosh to study with Stephen Sondheim during Sondheim’s tenure at Oxford University as the Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre. Subsequently Stephen composed the music for Maddie (book and lyrics by regular partner Shaun McKenna with Steven Dexter), which was workshopped at the Royal National Theatre Studio before receiving its first full production at the Salisbury Playhouse. The production then transferred to the Lyric Theatre, London produced by Kenny Wax. The London Cast Recording has recently been released on iTunes.

He was the co-composer, along with Laurence O’Keefe, for La Cava (book by Dana Broccoli, lyrics by Shaun McKenna and John Claflin), which transferred from the Churchill Theatre, Bromley to the Victoria Palace Theatre, London later moving to the Piccadilly Theatre.

In 2003 Stephen and Shaun McKenna were commissioned by John Havu and Walter Hitz to write a celebrated musical adaptation of Heidi (based on an idea by Stef Mens).

Heidi opened in Switzerland at an open air arena, Lake Walenstadt 2005 to universal critical acclaim. A new production opened at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, Germany 2006.

In 2007 and 2008 a sequel, Johanna and Heidi, played in Switzerland and was nominated for the prestigious Prix Walo award. This was followed by a prequel The One True Thing.

Stephen and Shaun McKenna have also written a musical sequel to Peter Pan, The Return Of Peter Pan (creative development by John Havu and orchestrations by Stef Mens) represented by the Pegasus Agency, Berlin .

Stephen has also composed the music for My Father’s Son, a musical set in nineteenth century Sheffield and based loosely on Shakespeare’s Hamlet (book and lyrics by award winning writer Stephen Clark performed at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells). Stephen has also written the music for a musical adaptation of The Amazing Mr Blunden (book and lyrics by Martin Guerre lyricist Edward Hardy) performed at London’s Theatre Museum, Covent Garden.

With the noted author Jonathan Miles he has written several musicals including Dietrich and the Red Spy and Children of Paradise set around the filming of Les Enfants du Paradis.

For children he has written The Last Wave (with the writer Peter Spafford), a musical based loosely on the events of the Children’s Crusade.

Stephen also composes choral music and music for media. He has recently composed a Requiem.

Stefan Mens - ORIGINAL IDEA & ORCHESTRATIONS

Stefan Mens is a Swiss musician who grew up in a mostly classical oriented family. He began to play the violin at the age of 5, switched to the guitar when he was 13, studied jazz and always shared a big love for rock music.

Because of this wide background in musical knowledge he became a stilistically very versatile musician – be it as player on the guitar or as a composer/orchestrator.

Stefan has worked mainly in the area of musical theater. He wrote a few shows which were produced in Switzerland and Germany.

Stefan Mens created the original concept for the Heidi Musicals. Besides the orchestrations and the conducting of the HEIDI – The Musical World Premiere he was the orchestrator of HEIDI 2, “Tell – the musical”, “Alperose”– a musical with the songs by Polo Hofer

Stefan is a regular writer for orchestras/bands in Switzerland (including work for Swiss National Television).

​He played in the orchestra of the European productions of  “Cats”, “Les Misérables”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita”.

For more information please visit www.stefanmens.ch

John Havu – CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT

John Havu began his early career as a classical musician. His first professional encounter with musical theatre came as a musician in the final US tour of THE KING AND I starring Yul Brynner. In 1991 John began a four year stint in the A.L. Webber musical CATS, Zürich. This was followed by his engagement with Webber’s Really Useful Group as orchestra manager and musician in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Basel and SUNSET BOULEVARD, Wiesbaden. John then went into musical theatre as a manager, creative developer, creative producer and consultant. In 2005 his collaboration with Shaun McKenna, Stephen Keeling and Stefan Mens led to the 2005 open-air production of HEIDI in Switzerland, where John served as Creative Producer. Shaun, Stephen, Stefan and John cooperated on three more shows, HEIDI II & III and THE RETURN OF PETER PAN. John served as a consultant to Kevin Wallace Ltd. for the stage adaptation of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and acted as a consultant on the MAHABHARATA stage adaption by Stephen Clark and Nitin Sawhney which played at the Saddler’s Wells Theatre, London. Other development projects included the successful TELL musical in Switzerland, TIMM THALER with music by German pop artist Xavier Naidoo, re-writes of the Eric Woolfson musicals GAUDI and GAMBLER as well as further development of the HEIDI musical in cooperation with the Willem Metz Management, Holland. John works with the Pegasus Literary and Talent Agency, Berlin and serves as a consultant to Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals Europe for their renowned catalogue of over 90 musicals.

PLAYLIST

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  • HEIDI 1 : Walentstadt, Switzerland : 2005, 2006
  • HEIDI 2 : Walentstadt, Switzerland : 2007, 2008
  • HEIDI 1 : Dessau, Germany : 2006
  • Ultimate production of HEIDI : Workshop Production in London, UK : 2014 & 2015
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