Touretteshero worked with the Albany and Battersea Arts Centre to create and perform Not I, Jess’ relaxed and accessible take on Samuel Beckett’s challenging monologue. Touretteshero are also working closely with the Albany on exciting upcoming family projects.
Touretteshero’s Not I is a theatrical experience in four parts: a warm welcome to the space, a 12 minute performance of the monologue, a short documentary film and a discussion with the audience. The experience explores neurodiversity and asks who is allowed to perform what and who gets the final say. It marks the first time that someone with Tourettes has performed the playwright’s texts, with the support of The Beckett Estate.
The goal is to make the production as accessible as possible with Thom joined on stage by Charmaine Wombwell, a talented and experienced sign language performer and interpreter. All performances are ‘relaxed’ – offering a warm welcome to people who find it difficult to follow the usual conventions of theatre behaviour, and taking a laid-back approach to noises or movement coming from the audience.
Jess is co-founder of Touretteshero, artist, writer, and activist. Jess has had tics since she was a child but wasn’t diagnosed with Tourettes until she was in her twenties. With some encouragement from her friends, Jess decided to turn her tics into a source of imaginative creativity and Touretteshero was born.
Matthew is co-founder of Touretteshero. He’s been friends with Jess for over a decade and they’ve worked together on a large number of creative projects for children during that time.
Read more about Touretteshero and other collaborators.
The Albany are proud to be a relaxed venue but know there is always more work we could do, so we’re hugely grateful to get to work with Jess, Matthew and Touretteshero to improve our offer – you can read more about relaxed performances/venues and why they’re important in Jess’s blog here.
Top image shows Jess Thom. Photo James Lyndsay.