Briefly describe for us what your show is about?
The show is based on the true story of the 18th century French showman Tarrare who earned his living by eating anything and everything and eventually joined the French revolutionary army as a military courier, hiding documents in his stomach. It’s a bit like Les Miserables but with more vomiting.
We’ve experimented with musical/operatic storytelling before in The Oldest Man in the World, which had the same composer, but this is more ambitious in scope and scale. It will also be our first time combining puppetry with live music.
Describe it for us in three words.
Grotesque Puppet Opera How will it make people feel? / What do you want it to make people think about?
Primarily we want people to feel engaged with this incredible story and enjoy the music. We’re always interested in questioning the idea of beauty which we think can often be quite arbitrary – we hope that audiences will find that even the more grotesque moments in the play have an underlying beauty to them. What stage will it be at in its development when we see it in July?
This will be the very first outing of an extract from the show, and the culmination of an initial 3 week period of R&D on the show, working around a story outline developed in collaboration with Hattie Naylor. What elements in particular are you looking forward to testing out on Ferment audiences?
The live music, and more generally just seeing if we can get people on board with the bizarreness of the whole thing. What are your personal highlights of July’s Ferment Fortnight?
Well we’re obviously big fans of Hattie, so Bluebeard is a must, and we’ve both really enjoyed previous work by Dan Canham and Adam Fuller. That said, we’ll try to see as much as possible – the best thing about Ferment is seeing that wildcard that totally blows you away.