About this Blog


This research and development blog is supported by Wellcome Trust and maintained by Research IT at Bristol University

Project Partners

Dr Alan Bates, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Pathology, University College London
Dr John Lee, Director of Intercalated BA in Medical Humanities, Bristol University
Professor David M. Turner, Swansea University

The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak is supported by

Wellcome Trust
Arts Council England
Tobacco Factory Theatres
Bath Spa University
New Diorama Theatre
Puppet Place
Bristol Ferment at Bristol Old Vic
Theatre Bristol
Weston College

Creative Team

A Chamber Opera by Tom & Tobi Poster
Director // Sita Calvert-Ennals
Associate Director, Director of development process // Laura Purcell-Gates
Story in collaboration with Hattie Naylor
Produced by Strike A Light // Executive Producer, Sarah Blowers; Producer Ellie Harris
Production Design // Rebecca Wood
Lighting Design // Mark Parry
Puppet Design // Wattle & Daub with Emma Powell
Music Director // An-Ting Chang

Wellcome Trust Small Arts Award

Delighted to have been successful in our application for a Wellcome Trust Small Arts award. This will support both the creation of the show as well as meetings with medical and scientific advisors and a series of related events (post-show discussions and Performing the Freak – A Dialogue between Theatre and Science about Monstrosity), an 8 page programme with information about the research and scientific collaboration underpinning the show, and a project website.

Review of work-in-progress performance in Exeunt Magazine

Click here to read

An excerpt:

“Somehow this company, with a devising period of three weeks, 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. In choosing this particular theme of human appetite, Wattle and Daub push the capacity of the puppets – playing with their ability to represent real, visceral human beings whilst continuing to acknowledge the fact that they are only puppets – a caricature, an idea.”
Geraldine Harris

Promo video for Tarrare now up!

We now have a short promo featuring music and images from the show. Enjoy!

The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak
a chamber opera for puppets
by Wattle & Daub Figure Theatre

Appearing as a work-in-progress extract at Bristol Ferment
Thursday 19 July, 6:30pm at Bristol Old Vic

Created in collaboration with Hattie Naylor
Music and Libretto by Tom and Tobi Poster
Devised by the company and directed by Laura Purcell Gates

Performed by Tobi Poster and Aya Nakamura
Vocals by Francesca Best and Michael Longden
Supported by Bristol Ferment and Arts Council England

Photography and promo by Farrows Creative