Jess Thom sheds light on her life with Tourette syndrome through comedy, puppetry and song.
Biscuit, biscuit, biscuit—Jess Thom just can’t stop saying the word. As a woman with Tourette syndrome, she has verbal and physical tics that make her incapable of staying on script, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a powerful writer and performer—quite the opposite, in fact. Her show, performed with co-creator Jess Mabel Jones, uses comedy, puppetry and song to bring her world to audiences. The show brings a lifetime of passion and hope to fulfillment—it’s a way of achieving liberation, both for Thom and for her audience. The performances are “relaxed,” meaning audiences are welcome to move around, make noise—freedom and possibility are built in at every level.
“Tourette’s is pretty much the only superpower I’ll ever need,” says Thom. What society marks as “atypical” allows her to soar, going off the handle with invention and inspiration. Her involuntary vocalizations make Thom all the more thrilling a performer. And she’s a comic personality you won’t soon forget. Her work is uproarious fun, and it also challenges our received notions of normalcy. Like all great art, it broadens our horizons; like all great comedy, it doubles us over. But like few other works before, it renders the brain as a thing of beauty in all its creation.
Thom is a delight to watch in this unexpected, inspiring glimpse in into her weird and wonderful world.
Part of the caravan: new english performance showcase, a curated programme of work designed to introduce, foster collaborations and build new audiences from some of England’s most exciting contemporary artists. caravan is delivered by Farnham Maltings.
Jess Thom is an English author, advocate and performer; she co-founded Touretteshero in 2010. She has written about Tourette syndrome for the mainstream and disability press in the U.K. and beyond, and she is the author of Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero.
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
January 30–February 1
60 minutes, no intermission
Buy tickets via Ticketfly
Or call 604.449.6000
See this show as part of the Wednesday Show Pack with:
Sweat Baby Sweat
All performances are “relaxed”, meaning they have been adapted to welcome people who might benefit from a more relaxed theatre environment, including—but not limited to—people on the autism spectrum, with sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement on the part of the audience, and adaptations are made to light and sound effects. These performances are open to everyone: many other people, whether they have an accessibility requirement or not, may choose to attend because the inclusive environment suits them.
A “visual story,” which provides information about how to access the venue and a detailed description of the show’s plot points, is available for download for patrons who prefer or require visual support aids.
CREATORS Jess Thom, Jess Mabel Jones, Matthew Pountney PERFORMERS Jess Thom, Jess Mabel Jones PRODUCER Matthew Pountney SUPPORTED BY Unlimited, Graeae, Battersea Arts Centre
Caroline Horton & Co./China Plate (England)
January 18–22, 2017
Paines Plough/Pentabus Theatre Company (England)
Every Brilliant Thing
January 26–29, 2017
Keynote Address: Jess Thom
February 1, 2017
Panel Discussion: Arts, Access & Inclusion
January 30, 2017
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre