A monstrous chamber opera for puppets

30th January to 18th February . Mon - Wed & Fri - Sat at 7:30pm . Age recommendation 12+
Tickets £10 - £20
Get 20% off when you buy a ticket alongside a ticket for one of the Tom Poster and Friends Chamber Concerts.

“Genius” ★★★★ Exeunt

"The history of this monster is as curious as his habits disgusting…”

A monstrous chamber opera for puppets based on the true story of Tarrare the Freak, an 18th century French revolutionary spy with an insatiable appetite for live cats, snakes, and the occasional amputated limb. Tarrare’s grizzly story ends on the autopsy table – a defining moment in medical history.

Featuring over twenty puppets, a male soprano, virtuosic musicians and a thrilling original score by internationally renowned pianist and composer Tom Poster, The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak tells the extraordinary true story of one man’s quest to be human in a world that sees him as a monster.

Tarrare was a diagnosed polyphagist (someone with an excessive desire to eat) and from his beginnings as a sideshow freak in 18th century Paris to his service as a spy during the French Revolution, he lived a life that is as compelling as it is unbelievable.

Macabre, witty and oddly beautiful, The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak is a unique and affecting show from one of the country’s most distinctive and talented new puppetry companies.

A Chamber Opera by Tom & Tobi Poster
Puppet Design by Wattle & Daub
Directed by Sita Calvert-Ennals
Production Design by Rebecca Wood
Lighting Design by Mark Parry
Written in collaboration with Hattie Naylor

Running time 105 mins plus interval
7.30pm Act one
8.10pm Interval
8.30pm Act two
We expect this performance to end around 9:15pm
Latecomers will not be admitted until the interval

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Supported by Arts Council England, The Wellcome Trust, Bath Spa University, Puppet Place and Theatre Bristol.

Originally supported by Tobacco Factory Theatres Strike A Light, Weston College and Bristol Ferment.

Short-listed for the 2013 Flourish new opera competition.

They like it

  • Tarrare is a witty, eccentric and beautifully realised production, that will haunt you from the start to finish

    ****. Female Arts

  • ... Wattle and Daub refuse to take the easy route and produce something quite unique, uncomfortably beautiful and emotionally charged

    Bristol Festival of Puppetry

  • [Wattle & Daub] have created magic through the careful concoction of puppetry and opera. The gruesome becomes fascinating, the disgusting becomes acceptable, the foul is humorous and the desperate is mesmerising, almost enchanting


  • Tarrare was highly ambitious, and beautifully realised

    Tobacco Factory Theatres

  • I really loved the ambition, the skill, the wonderful music and the design of this sumptuous show

    Ali Robertson - Executive Director, Kneehigh Theatre

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