Backstage in Biscuitland
I am so looking forward to seeing Backstage in Biscuitland. Jess Thom has been touring her it’s-like-nothing-you’ve-ever-seen show for a while now, and it’s been getting loads of critical attention and acclaim, not to mention awards – and she’s going to be in Hertford later this month.
Not heard of her? Mr C and I first saw her talking to Russell Howard on the telly – and we were completely blown away by her strength, her humour, and her sheer force of will. She’s exhausting to watch – and inspiring. And hilariously joyful. Check it out here.
Jess Thom – aka Touretteshero – is living with Tourettes Syndrome. And not just the occasional word or movement out of place. She’s living with a condition that has her saying ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day. Yup. That’s sixteen thousand times a day.
And not just that. She’s ticcing – whether it’s a verbal tic or a motor tic – all the time. She created her show Backstage in Biscuitland, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, to embrace the creativity and energy that comes with what might seem a thoroughly debilitating condition. Since then, she’s given a TEDx talk at the Royal Albert Hall, curated events at Tate Modern, been – unbelievably – a continuity announcer on Channel 4, and performed at Glastonbury, among loads of other bits and bobs.
Given the nature of Tourettes, though, there’s absolutely no chance that any two shows will be the same – but that in itself offers a genuine glimpse into what her life is like, and what it means to be living with her tics. Her support worker has to be right there on stage with her – and is also her co-performer and puppeteer.
I can’t wait to see the show. I’m not sure what to expect, but, to be fair, I’m not sure even she is. We shall see…