Reflections On The Fringe

After two days back in London, my stay in Edinburgh already seems like a long time ago. Since getting home, a few significant moments at the Fringe have kept coming into my mind so I thought I’d share some with you.

Most Unexpected – Getting emails from producers and performers who’d seen Backstage in Biscuit Land (BIBL), warmly inviting me to go and see their shows. Talking about inclusivity in BIBL was right for Edinburgh audiences, because they often include performers, producers and directors. But I hadn’t anticipated so many open invitations to go and see other people’s work.

Most Moving & Most Challenging – This was one and the same moment. Last week a young woman with some tics very similar to mine was in the audience. During the monologue in which I talk about my upsetting theatre experience and the intense humiliation I’d felt at the time, I could hear her crying. I found this incredibly moving and a part of me desperately wanted to stop and give her a hug. I understood from her response that, like me, she’d been made to feel unwelcome and judged in her life, and I felt sad the painful experience I was describing resonated so deeply with her. But it also helped underline why increased understanding is so important. I met the young woman afterwards and we got to have that hug.

Most Exciting – Waiting (not so quietly) behind the curtain on our opening performance as the audience filed in.

Most Memorable – Listening to and watching nine-year-old Tom read my Care Plan as Chopin supported mini-Touretteshero having a ‘ticcing fit’.

Most Biscuity – When my support worker Leo, who’d been tasked with handing out biscuits to the audience, tripped and threw an entire tin’s-worth over a woman on a mobility scooter in the front row.

Funniest – When my friends Gordon and Paul came to the show. They both have Tourettes and at the end of the show, Paul ticced, “This is the worst bar mitzvah I’ve been to!”

There were of course many other amazing moments during our trip to Edinburgh – these are just a few that stand out in my mind. If you were able to make it, thanks so much for coming. If you weren’t but would like to, details of the forthcoming London shows can be found here.

One response to Reflections On The Fringe

  1. Alv says:

    Hi Jess – I saw BIBL at Edinburgh Fringe and it was by far the most engaging, inspiring, funny and real thing that I saw there; such clarity and authenticity. It made me think of all the bus and shopping trips I’ve been on with the people I have known with Tourettes (with such fabulous sweary tics) – I now think of them as super heroes! 🙂

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