Backstage in Biscuitland
Jess Thom has Tourette’s syndrome, a condition that makes her say ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day. Her unusual neurology gives her a unique perspective on life, one she’s unleashing on the world. This two-woman solo-show weaves comedy, puppetry, singing, and incredible tics to explore spontaneity, creativity, disability, and things you never knew would make you laugh. Jess is neurologically incapable of staying on script, so no two shows can be the same. And that’s when the fun begins.
Jessica Thom is a writer, artist, and part time superhero. Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of having Tourette’s syndrome. Jess has had tics since she was a child but wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her twenties. Touretteshero is about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood condition on the planet, challenging people to think differently, and building a more inclusive society.Jess has written in the mainstream and disability press including The Guardian, The Observer, and Disability Now. In 2012, she published Welcome to Biscuit Land – A Year in the Life of Touretteshero, with a foreword by Stephen Fry. In 2014, she performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, DaDaFest in Liverpool, and the Unlimited Festival at London’s Southbank Centre. She also co-devised and facilitated a one-day event for children with Tourette’s at Tate Britain, called We Forgot the Lot! In 2015, Jess performed her Broadcast from Biscuit Land as part of the On Stage: Live from Television Centre evening on BBC4. In 2013, she gave a TEDx talk on The Alchemy of Chaos at the Royal Albert Hall and became a continuity announcer for Channel 4 as part of their Born Risky season. Jess is a visual, performing, and participatory artist based in London. In 2016, Jess toured extensively in the UK and North America with her award winning stage show Backstage in Biscuit Land.
Jess Mabel Jones is a performer, puppeteer, and co-creator of Backstage in Biscuit Land, Jess, AKA Chopin, is an integral part of the Touretteshero family. She’s also the Associate Director of Finger in The Pie, and the programmer of their prestigious Finger in The Pie Cabaret. Credits include: Beauty and the Beast with Improbable and OneOfUs, Blind Summit’s The Table, and projects with the RSC, Little Angel Theatre and The Watermill.
Matthew Pountney is co-founder of Touretteshero. He’s worked with Jess Thom for over a decade on a large number of creative inclusive projects for children and young people.
2 October 2016 in Sarajevo at MESS Festival