Kids author James Campbell heads to Diss with stand-up show without the rude bits!
PUBLISHED: 13:51 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:28 29 August 2018
With his 20s taken up leading writing workshops at primary schools during the day and performing at comedy clubs at night, James Campbell has earned his stripes as a successful children’s author.
Now in his 40s the Suffolk-based father-of-three has seen his debut book, Boyface and the Quantum Chromatic Disruption Machine, spawn three more published adventures about his young hero, who is put in charge of the family business of stripe-mongering, taking the patterns from things and placing them on something else – how else could you explain a tartan badger?
Earlier this year he published his latest book, The Funny Life of Pets, which draws heavily from his comedy stand-up routines he entertains children with.
And it is as a stand-up comedian who specialises in making an audience of children who like comedy without the rude bits laugh that he will be visiting Diss.
His family show features everything from pets to couscous, making your own yoghurt, bees, why we have hair and will answer questions such as: “Do Sausage Dogs eat sausages? Or do they just look at them and say, “I’m not eating that – it looks like my granny!”
The desire to write came early for James, growing up in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. He started to put together his own stories aged seven.
“I remember one early story,” says James, “involving a boy who went to clean his teeth and fell down the sink plug hole into a magical world. It was like a cross between Narnia and B&Q.”
He carried on writing into his 20s while performing stand-up at comedy clubs and helping out at a local primary school.
His stand-up skills helped him interact with the children and the kid-friendly material grew into shows, Comedy 4 Kids and its new incarnation The Funny Thing About…, he has taken around hundreds of schools in East Anglia as well as venues around the world.
He appeared on TV programmes such as Blue Peter and has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, on Broadway and the West End.
He says: “I get to test out new ideas at the schools. It gives me an opportunity to share my work and has really helped me with writing.”
His latest book The Funny Life of Pets, illustrated by Rob Jones, is designed for youngsters used to web surfing with story links rather than page numbers to lead your reading.
He says: “It has no plot, no beginning and no end. You follow sign posts to different pages. It’s a wonderful way to get the style and feel of my live comedy shows over in a book.”
• The Hilariously Funny World of James Campbell is at Diss Corn Hall on October 6, 2pm, £6, £22 family, 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk