Tarrare, or ‘The Consumption’ tells the astonishing true tale of a young Final Scene Squaresoldier maligned by fate and condemned to a life of ravenous hunger. Set in Paris during the tumultuous French Revolutionary Wars, it is the compassionate retelling of an obscure but fascinating story from the strangest annals of late 18th century medicine about a young man born with a mysterious illness which rendered him constantly ravenous, with an appetite that could not be sated even after prodigious sums of the most disgusting fare.

Wicke’s first two-act play, as well as the first to depart from the comic, this tragedy nonetheless holds on the the thoughtful humour of his other works. This existential tragicomedy examines hope and perseverance in a life of freakish desperation, with Wicke’s usual intrusion of the absurd and extramundane.