From a room upstairs in a small pub in Battersea to what could be considered the most powerful woman in the UK stand-up circuit, over 29 years Maria Kempinska has managed to forge the biggest chain of comedy clubs in the country.
Kempinska founded Joungleurs in 1983 with her business partner John Davy but her cabaret roots go back much further.
Kempinska started putting on shows at her local convent school for charity at the tender age of 11. By the time Jongleurs was launched her full-time job was working as an agent. She had also worked in advertising and put herself though college.
The Jongleurs brand went through several business stages and was sold to entertainment company Regents Inns in 2000, however Kempinska never lost control of the Jongleurs brand name, and in 2009 relaunched the brand after it’s parent company, Regents Inns went into administration.
Most former Jongleurs clubs were sold off to entertainment company Intertain and renamed Highlight while Maria Kempinska and John Davy immediately set about rebuilding a chain of Jongleurs Clubs.
Plans in 2012 include a potential float on the stock market and expansion overseas. According to financial website thisismoney.co.uk Jongleurs anticipates its turnover will rise from an expected £1.9million in 2011 to £10.3million in 2013 and £22.4million by 2014.
Kempinska also has a PhD from Essex University’s department of Psychoanalytic studies for a thesis entitled: The Acquisition of Comedic Skills as a Component of Growth and Individuation: Post-Jungian and Psychoanalytic Perspectives. In short, a very busy lady.
- Commissioners and TV executives
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy: 20 - 1
- Edinburgh Fringe 2012 picks: Free Fringe and free gigs
- Stewart Lee: "I don't think a 16-year-old me would want to be a comedian"
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy 60 - 41
- Danny Dyer film Run For Your Wife takes £747 at box office
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy
- The Top 100 People In Comedy 80 - 61
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy: 100 - 81
- Edinburgh Fringe 2012 picks: First Hours