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Meet the writer

Meet thewriter

About the show

Genius. Visionary. Feminist.

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was the world’s first computer programmer. She made extraordinary, fantastically-ahead-of-her-time predictions about what computers could achieve for people. She even predicted our digital age.

A celebrity from the moment of her birth, Ada was the only legitimate daughter of the great poet, lover and revolutionary Lord Byron. Now, Ada’s remarkable life is brought to the stage for the first time as an exciting, thought-provoking, two-act musical by librettist and lyricist James Essinger. It tells the story of a woman who was indeed a genius, visionary and feminist, and whose life is one of the great tales of the history of science. Ada’s Algorithm - The Ada Lovelace Musical is packed with soaring melodies that unforgettably dramatise the life of one of the most remarkable women of history.


Desperate for the company of other children and frustrated at studying under an inept governess, young Ada Byron spends her summer holiday in Kent, dreaming of becoming a great inventor, with a steam-powered flying-horse her first creation. When Ada shares her plans with Tom, the local blacksmith’s apprentice, her domineering mother, Lady Byron, fears that Ada has inherited what Lady Byron sees as her late husband’s rebellious and excessively imaginative personality. Determined to keep scandal in the past, Lady Byron whisks her daughter back to London in search of more suitable connections.

At the age of seventeen, Ada meets eccentric mathematician Charles Babbage, who is struggling to build a calculating machine out of cogwheels, which he calls The Difference Engine.

Ada and Babbage start to explore the applications of this ingenious invention, while Ada makes her first true friend in Babbage’s young daughter Georgie. Ada confides in Georgie her continued love for Tom, and her disappointment that Tom has never answered any of her letters. Hurt and rejected, Ada meekly goes along with her mother’s matchmaking and marries Lord William Lovelace, while in a startling twist of fate, Tom appears in London to profess his love too late to prevent the marriage.

With Tom’s reappearance, Ada, horrified to realise that Lady Byron deliberately concealed Tom’s letters from her, is forced to tread the narrow line between friendship and love while dealing with unexpected tragedy.

Ada consoles herself with her friendship with Tom, and learns to balance her personal life with motherhood and her ardent interest in Babbage’s second, and most ambitious machine, The Analytical Engine. This remarkable device is nothing less than a sophisticated digital computer built from cogwheels - the world’s first computer. Ada’s perception of the Analytical Engine far exceeds even Babbage’s, and she invents a special formula, an algorithm, that will open up the potential of the Analytical Engine for the future.

Ada blends mathematics with art in her own, personal branch of what she calls ‘poetical science’, and despite confronting the fact that at the age of thirty-six she is suffering from a fatal illness, she soars into the heart of posterity by visualising exactly how computers could transform the world.

Ada dies, meeting her father Lord Byron, and her beloved friend Georgie, in the afterlife.

As the musical ends in a blaze of emotion, drama and redemption, we realise that all Ada’s predictions about the potential of computers have, today, come true



Philip Henderson - Composer
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Laura Barnard

 Ada Lovelace

Laura graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatorie of Music and Dance with a first class degree in Musical Theatre Performance and also trained with the prestigious NYMT. She has appeared in many of their productions including Prodigy (The Other Palace), Brass (Leeds City Varieties/The Hackney Empire) and as Dot in their 2017 production of Sunday in The Park With George at The Other Palace. Roles in her final year of study included The Witch in Into The Woods and Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown. Laura received several awards to help aid her training including: 'The Laurence Olivier Bursary Award', 'The Ian Fleming Award' and the 'Leverhume Scholarship.'


Since graduating Laura has played Alice Fitzwarren and Fairy Bowbells in Dick Whittington (Rose Theatre Tewkesbury) and worked on a West end workshop entitled Snow White and Me which was shown at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. As well as this Laura has appeared in Amour at Charring Cross Theatre and most recently has worked with ITV on an extremely new and exciting project!


Laura is a great believer in supporting and pioneering new Musical Theatre having appeared on original cast recordings of Brass (Benjamin Till), Prodigy (Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary) as well as having originated roles in several new productions including the role of Joanna in A Dysfunctional Guide to being a third wheel (Crazy Coqs London).


Laura is delighted to be a part of this fantastic project and cannot wait to see what future this unique and stirring music will bring.


Michael graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with a first class honours degree in Musical Theatre. Some of his roles whilst in training included Ugly in Honk, Jack in Into the Woods and Eugene in Crazy For You. During his training he was also a finalist of the Young Scottish Musical Theatre Performer of the Year Award and was a finalist of the Ian Fleming Award. 


Since graduating Michael has played Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk (Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock) and was a lead vocalist on board Viking Cruises. 


Michael is very excited to be a small part of this incredibly exciting new project. 

Michael Karl-Lewis 

Bob Peel/Tom Newton

Laura Barnard



The Musical on YouTube

"Little Miss High and Mighty" from Spirit Young Performers Company (Easter Workshop 2014)
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The Musical on Youtube


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