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Facilitators of Mirth

Ada Campe

Biography

Ada Campe

Awards & competitions

Ada Campe

Appearances & credits

Ada Campe

Biography

As the alter-ego to comedian and researcher Naomi Paxton, Ada Campe has entered into the new year with a nomination for Best Variety Act at the Chortle Awards 2019. She is also the reigning winner of both the New Act of the Year at the NATYS, and the Leicester Square Theatre Old Comedian of the Year.

Campe's performances are true variety at it's best, rife with the absurd and the outlandish, mystery and intrigue and unabashed, pure comedy. 

"Her eyes gleam as she confides in her audience conspiratorially. She treats each fact as though it were a gift she was bestowing on the audience. Campe is a natural born storyteller with a flare for the dramatic”
– Ed Fest Mag

 

Many magicians have been vexed by how to bring their art form into the 21st Century. Well, the devilishly eccentric Ada Campe has no truck with that, instead presenting her tricks with the aesthetic of a divinely dotty variety artiste – always with that final ‘e’ – from the middle of last century, with an affectedly plummy voice and Rs that roll forever.

"Ada Campe made me laugh more than anyone on the circuit for years. Genius”
– Sandi Toksvig

 

"Immerses you in another world from the first moment”
– Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

 

"Ducks, drama and debauchery from an accomplished character comedian.. an hour packed with magic, storytelling and plenty of laughs. Campe’s natural stage presence keeps the audience in the palm of her hand with a twisting narrative.. This ability to weave a story and control a crowd is when Campe is at her strongest, easily hitting punchlines and responding to the audience with charm. The atmosphere evoked is one of a slightly debaucherous variety club compered by a mischievously charming character with many a story to tell – and that’s no bad way to spend an afternoon at the Fringe”
– The Skinny

 

Resplendent in greasepaint and glorious feathered headdress, she is flamboyant and quite possibly bonkers, but she knows how to spin a showbusiness anecdote. Her shows feature more shaggy dogs than psychic ducks, but her theatrical delivery draws the audience in, with extended stories that cast a spell long before she asks anyone to pick a card.

"Resembles an unhinged super-villain”
– Diva Magazine

 

Her eyes gleam as she confides in her audience conspiratorially. She treats each fact as though it were a gift she was bestowing on the audience. Campe is a natural born storyteller with a flare for the dramatic. 

Most cabaret involves singing and dancing, but Campe relies on her audience to do most of that. She takes a special pleasure in audience involvement, the glisten in her eyes, the wonder she invests in everyday objects, and her larger-than-life persona bring the real magic here. 

"Sorcery wrapped in the kind of storytelling that would make Scheherazade jealous”
– Kate Copstick

 

Campe, winner of the NATY New Act Of The Year, is a woman who loves flowing, florid language, every phrase wrought to suggest drama and erudition. Her performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 and 2018 brought her further into the public's attention.

"Extravagantly mischievous… devilishly eccentric... a real original and with irrepressible funny bones.. brilliantly crowd-pleasing act"
– Chortle

 

From juggling to card tricks to mind-reading, the mischievous creation of theatrical academic Naomi Paxton, Ada Campe’s a real one-off, a one-woman celebration of a bygone golden era of decorous razzmatazz, yet still relevant today.

"Ada doesn’t link directly to my academic research, but some of the quirky acts and people I’ve found whilst researching Edwardian theatre certainly inspire some of her stories. I research feminist and suffragist women in the entertainment industry in that period so always make sure that women are an influential and important part of Ada’s world. I also read a lot of plays and theatrical newspapers from the early twentieth century and Ada’s heightened way of speaking definitely and deliberately draws from the language of that era." 

The tricks are tricks, perhaps nothing that you won’t have seen before, but if Ada tells us anything, it’s that presentation and image is all - and that she has nailed.

"Mischievously charming character”
– Skinny

 

"Very very funny”
– Edinburgh Magic Circle

 

"Part raconteur, part magician, part comedian, Campe is as enigmatic as she is eccentric.. an hour with Ada will not be forgotten in a hurry”
– Fest Mag

 

In 2019, Ada Campe took the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm - receiving the best reviews of her career so far, sold out shows each day, and the admiration/ envy of her peers, with her awesome show 'Ada Campe and the Psychic Duck'. Her show about wonderful women, strange encounters and a fairground mystery was ★★★★★ and completely hilarious.

“strong sense of the ridiculous.. tears of joyful laughter.. absolutely fabulous” – ★★★★★ ScotsGay

 

“An icon of her own design, Campe delivers her own style of bonkers brilliance with this simple but incredible story of magic.. sensational humour and stagecraft.. a loving ride through the wonders of circus, cabaret and variety.. escape into this rousing realm of storytelling, marvelling at the stature and enchantment of its awe-inspiring star” – ★★★★★ Wee Review

 

“With her outlandish eye makeup, headdress and conspiratorial air, Ada Campe effortlessly draws her audience into her story. Thanks to Campe’s dramatic delivery and enviable turn of phrase, it’s also very funny. Created by Naomi Paxton, Campe employs her considerable charm to recruit audience members to aid her in her flights of fancy (one plays an escaped moose) and to join her in a concluding dance. It’s a world as convincing as it is amusing, both eccentric and deeply researched.” – The Guardian

 

“a marvellous teller of tall tales, purveyor of puns and occasional conjurer, in roughly that order. This show shows off those skills to a tee. Immediately commanding the stage with her charming sense of naughtiness and wide, darting eyes.. an Angela Carter-esque enclave of faintly feminist fantasy populated by enough fascinating women to inspire anyone with a beating heart to forsake the mundanity of daily life. This is a magic show of sorts, with a number of pleasing tricks. But the real appeal lies in Campe’s magnetic presence and ticklish way with words. She seems silly yet wise and has a lovely turn of phrase, incorporating oddball verbiage (“esoteric waterfowl”) and a smattering of smut. Her marshalling of audience volunteers is confident, kind and increasingly bizarre, and the peculiar worldmaking of her tales makes for a truly transporting hour. After an utterly bonkers finale, you leave with your head buzzing with visions of an enchanted and empowering world” – ★★★★ The Scotsman

 

Ada's brilliant show earned her a nomination from Funny Women, for 'Best Show' in their Funny Women 2019 Awards - the results of which will be announced at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London on the 19th September.

Ada also took home The Stand's Good Egg Award 2019 - for being an absolute delight to work with, off and on stage

Awards/Competitions

  • Winner - Good Egg Awards - The Stand - 2019
  • Nominee - Best Show - Funny Women Awards - 2019
  • Nominee - Best Variety Act - Chortle Awards - 2019
  • Winner - New Act of the Year - NATYS / The Hackney Empire New Act of the Year - 2018
  • Winner - Leicester Square Theatre Old Comedian of the Year - 2018
  • Nominee - BBC New Comedy Award - 2018
  • Shortlisted - Best Show - Funny Women Awards - 2017

Appearances & credits

Festivals:

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Ada Campe and the Psychic Duck - 2017 - 2019

Radio:

  • BBC Radio 4 Extra

Currently appearing at:

Comedy, variety and cabaret nights, Festivals, Corporate and private events

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