Sunday, 15 November 2015

Touretteshero's Broadcast In Biscuit Land, live from the BBC...

Touretteshero's Backstage In Biscuit Land, one of my theatre highlights of the year, is going to be broadcast live on BBC 4 tonight.  

One of the co-creators of the show is Jess Mabel Jones, who also happens to be a Blind Summit puppeteer. So at Suspense Festival last week, I caught up with her about it... 

What is Backstage in Biscuit Land?
Backstage In Biscuit Land is the brilliant part-scripted, part-improvised show about Jess Thom and the wonderful world Tourettes creates around her. It's extremely funny. Jess' tics are also extremely funny.

How did the broadcast come about? 
The BBC, Battersea Arts Centre and Arts Council England joined forces to present a night of live theatre for TV broadcasting. It's a celebration, a call to arms and a chance to promote the theatre events that happen every day up and down the country. It's also a farewell to the iconic BBC drama studio we'll be performing in - after Christmas it's being knocked down to make way for luxury flats!

What will we see?
We will be presenting a version of our show as part of the event, alongside other artists; Gecko, Richard DeDomenici, Common Wealth and Islington Community Theatre, so it's going to be an amazing programme! 

What is your favourite part of the show?
I love the spontaneity of it. It makes me belly laugh every time.

What is your favourite 'tic' from Jess?
Gosh, I have so many! There's one in the stage show; "Squirrels, you're so lucky the branches have given you white water rafting lessons", that I think is so beautiful. The other day, Jess ticced "You're mum has facial hair in her belongings" which I love because it's so gross. 

Where did the idea come from to use puppets in the show?
It seemed like a natural partner to Jess's tics, the perfect way to make her vivid, surreal world come to life. Our set is made up of things from a list that Jess 'ticced' so we've got some weird things like a loaf of Steve and a U-bend. While we made the show, we improvised with what we had in the room. 

And finally, what's your top puppetry tip?
Be receptive and reactive! 

Don't forget to tune in tonight (Sunday 15th Nov) at 9pm on BBC 4! 

To find out more about the amazing Touretteshero, click here

You can also catch Jess in Hardboiled at the New Diorama Theatre in February next year. 

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