To celebrate international women’s day we thought we would bring you news of our very own Jess Thom who has been appearing at the Sydney Opera House as part of the All About Women festival.
Jess has Tourettes syndrome and in 2011 she was in the audience of a show where, after complaints about disturbing other audience members because of her tics, she was asked to sit in a sound booth. Jess was stung by the incident and decided to do something about it. Last Sunday, Jess was front and centre of the Sydney Opera House, accompanied by improv actor Jess Mabel Jones in an excellent show which blends comedy, puppetry, singing and her idiosyncrasies to explore her own creativity and disability in her spontaneous and inimitable way. In Jess’s show Backstage in Biscuitland audience members are encouraged to make noise, move and tic. Jess believes that theatres must be more inclusive so that people like herself are not shut out in the way that she was. She has written more about this issue here: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/blog/hedgehog-biscuit-fuck-cats-touretteshero-jess-thom-calls-for-theatres-to-be-more-inclusive-030317
Jess is also the creator of touretteshero, which celebrates the creativity and humour of people with Tourettes. Touretteshero is on Twitter (https://twitter.com/touretteshero) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/touretteshero/) and her funny and interesting #dailyoutburst’s are an absolute joy.
Jess will also be taking her new project Adventures in Biscuitland around the UK, beginning at the Tate Modern on March 24th, 25th and 26th and it’s completely free to attend. For more information about this event see Jess’s blog at https://www.touretteshero.com/2017/02/24/biscuit-land-a-new-adventure/
Jess tells her inspirational story in Welcome to Biscuit Land which the Evening Standard called ‘an invaluable resource for families coping with Tourette’s’. This ‘moving, year-long diary’ (Daily Mail) is available in print and e-book with an excellent foreword by Stephen Fry here: http://souvenirpress.co.uk/product/welcome-to-biscuit-land-a-year-in-the-life-of-touretteshero-jess-thom/