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.