Backstage in Biscuit Land

Backstage in Biscuitland is the charmingly titled tour around the world of Jess Thom who has Tourette’s Syndrome. As a result of her neurological condition, no two performances are the same. The anecdotes, humour, songs and puppetry are punctuated by bizarre and wide-ranging verbal and motor tics. Thom is accompanied by her performing partner, Jess Mabel Jones, and together they soon have the audience engrossed in this lively, energetic and personal production.

Witty and energetic, well-paced, warm and relaxed.

The set is an eclectic jumble of objects. Mable Jones later explains that between them they could not decide what they wanted their set to look like, and so gathered the items according to what Thom spoke of during her tics. The result: a colourful, daft environment, complete with a dinosaur balloon and a U-bend. We are immediately told that it is okay to laugh and Thom and Mabel Jones dive straight in with the humour, the latter acting out the tics of the former – “dramatic owl flash mob” and “buy a carpet from my mum.” This results in some hilarious and unexpected actions that set the tone for the rest of the performance.

Each element of the show is delightfully different. The two performers seem to genuinely enjoy being there and delight in the positive reaction they receive. They complement each other perfectly. Alongside the humour there are serious moments with sincere messages, teaching us about pre-judgement and openness, disbanding some of the myths about Tourette’s syndrome. The tone of the performance is perfect: positive, uplifting, and at times incredibly moving, such as when Jess Thom speaks about her reasons for creating this show.

It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and not because of Thom’s Tourette’s. It was witty and energetic, well-paced, warm and relaxed. Most importantly it seemed fearless and essential - a show everyone should see.

Reviews by Lottie Scaramanga

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The Blurb

Jess Thom has Tourettes, 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 about to unleash 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. Geranium bashing and penguin gangbangs may or may not feature - no two shows can ever be the same. Jess is neurologically incapable of staying on script, and that's when the fun begins. ‘Delightful’ (Stephen Fry).