Backstage in Biscuit Land
Touretteshero and Battersea Arts Centre Co-Production
Writer, artist and play-worker, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 to celebrate and share the creativity and humour of Tourettes Syndrome. Taking on the identity of part-time superhero Touretteshero, she has turned her tics into a source of creative energy to spread the word about this frequently misunderstood neurological condition via a wide range of artistic channels. The company aims to increase awareness of the disorder and its challenges without self-pity or mockery; and makes work that turns the laughter associated with Tourettes into a genuinely funny cultural alternative.
Inspired by Thom’s urge to say ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day, Backstage in Biscuit Land is the company’s first foray into theatre. Premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014, the show received huge critical acclaim and went on to win the Total Theatre 'Emergent Company' Award. Made in collaboration with established performer/puppeteer Jess Mabel Jones (AKA Chopin), it embraces unpredictability; weaving comedy, puppetry, song together with Thom’s wonderfully spontaneous movements and vocal interventions to tell a powerful story about the nature of theatre and the etiquettes and prejudices that can sometimes lead to the exclusion of people who don’t or can’t conform.
In the press
“The blessed Jess Thom... open, funny, frank, intelligent and enchantingly entertaining” Stephen Fry, Welcome to Biscuit Land foreword
“Extraordinarily entertaining… An adventure in every way” ★★★★ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
DevisorJess Thom, Jess Mabel Jones, Matthew Pountney
Number of people on stage2
Number of people in touring company4 (2 actors, 2 technical and personal support)
Touring AvailabilitySeptember 2015 - September 2017
Scale of venueSmall-scale (capacity up to 400),
Middle-scale (capacity 400-850),
Minimum performance space5m x 5m
Text-basedMedium (some text with a strong visual/physical element)
Also contains:Interactivity, Strong Language
VenuePleasance Two, Pleasance Courtyard
Production dates24-30 AUGUST
Duration60 MINS (no interval)
Touretteshero has extensive experience delivering a wide variety of supplementary activities including:
Talks and Training:
Jess Thom is an experienced and poplar public speaker and has given talks on Tourettes, disability issues, campaigning, creativity and play.
Touretteshero also offers formal training, talks and Q&A sessions
Education, Workshops and Events:
Touretteshero has worked extensively with children and young people, with a specialism in inclusive play and creative activities including Touch tours, Tic-inspired drawing workshops and Superhero costume making activities.