Poetical Machines Present
By Emily Holyoake
A new play about unsung visionary and computing pioneer Ada Lovelace, ADA parallels history with the imagined creative consciousness of an artificial intelligence named Ginny.

“You may turn the handle, and I will whirr and calculate without error!”

Daughter to an absent Lord Byron and forbidden by her mother to engage in the dangers of the arts, Ada turns her imagination to maths and her inspired collaboration with inventor of the Analytical Engine, Charles Babbage.

Ada imagines a future where machines have unlimited capabilities but finds her horizons are restricted by conflict, duty, and illness. Two centuries later, Ginny’s laboratory life of cycles and routines is disrupted and she starts to test her own limits. Pushing past the boundaries of what ought to be possible, ADA collides their worlds.

Featuring interactive design, cutting edge technology and the live-fired electronic music of all-female rock trio Haiku Salut, ADA is an exciting new play with an electric heartbeat, which embraces the STEAM movement.

“I always wondered if something like you would be possible.”


To make a booking contact co producers and tour programmers Little Pixie Productions by emailing Rebecca and Helena at: ada-admin@littlepixieproductions.co.uk

Suitable for theatres and arts centres and almost any public space that doesn’t rely on the machinery of a traditional theatre. This makes ADA also suitable for museums, galleries, libraries and rural touring venues, as well as schools.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron and now commonly known as Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage‘s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine resulting in her being described as the world’s first computer programmer.

These achievements should have ensured household name status along with other luminaries of the age such as Michael Faraday and Charles Dickens, however Ada Lovelace has long been obscure and viewed as a minor figure, if mentioned at all, in the history of computing rather than a giant of the digital age.

With ADA Poetical Machines aim to correct this injustice by telling a story involving one of the most fascinating, brilliant and visionary figures at the dawn of the digital culture that pervades every aspect of our modern society.

It seems clear that a large part of the reason Ada and her contribution has been neglected is her gender so it was important that the project had a strong representation of female artists in its creation.

Written by Emily Holyoake and directed by Julia Locascio, an original music score composed by the Derbyshire Dales instrumental female trio Haiku Salut will form a unique element of ADA. By incorporating techniques and technologies from electronic music performance, scenic elements will form interfaces with the musical playback technology. Triggered by the actors, this will blur the distinction between the operators of the technical elements and the performers in the show.

Performances can also be accompanied by workshops where we demonstrate how the technologies we use in the show are made, implemented and imaginatively adapted by almost anyone. The hope is that we can inspire young people, girls especially, to embrace STEAM projects as the exciting future for technology and creative expression.