Singer, actress, comedienne, playwright, this multi-talented diva can toss her beret at any stall.
Karen is a former member of Irish comedy singing trio ‘The Nualas’ who toured Ireland, the UK, Singapore and Australia, and whose shows received five-star reviews at the Edinburgh fringe Festival for many years. They also had their own radio series ‘The Nualas’ on BBC Radio Four, which was nominated for a BBC Light Entertainment award.
As an actress, Karen has worked for a variety of theatre companies all over Ireland, including The Abbey, Corn Exchange, Pan-Pan, Fishamble, Bewley’s Café Theatre and many more, touring to New York, Berlin, UK and Tasmania.
From 2011- 2016 Karen was invited as visiting artist to Rakastaj-teatteri, Pori, one of the largest independent theatre companies in Finland. During this time she worked both as an actress and singer in a number of different shows, including ‘Tiernapojat eli: the Mänkki Experience’, ‘Love Me or Leave Me’, ‘Kaikkeä Hyvää’, ‘Tiernapojat’, ‘Goodbye Pori’, ‘Kaikki tarvii lempee’, ‘Kaikki tarvii äitii’ performing in both English and Finnish. She was commissioned by Rakastajat-teatteri to write a play ‘Kippis‘ for their 2015 season, which was translated into Finnish by the celebrated playwright Juha Siltanen. The play premiered in February 2015 to stunning reviews and was performed again from March – May 2016 to sell-out performances. Karen returned to Ireland in June 2016 to set her roots in Irish soil once again.
For film and television, Karen has starred in the BBC drama ‘Ripper Street‘ (which featured one of her own songs), the television drama ‘Rock Rivals‘ and for the award-winning Irish comedy sketch show ‘Your Bad Self‘ with fellow actors Domhnall Gleeson and Amy Huberman. She has also featured in a number of other films and shows including Man About Dog (Treasure Films), Kiddo (Perry Ogden), A Man of No Importance, Wasted (RTE), Fair City (RTE). Liz & Margie – Live! (RTE) and (LWT), X-it File (RTE) and The Stand-Up Show (BBC).
In 2014 Karen was invited to take an artist’s residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris where she was developing the script for ‘Kippis’. During this time she also performed at the Fête de la Musique with acclaimed Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumba, to an audience of over 5000 people.
As a singer, with five-star sell-out successes in the National Concert Hall (Dublin) at The Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and in Finland (Lainssuojattomatt Festival), Karen continues to offer a captivating cocktail of classics from the repertoire of artists as diverse as Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Weill, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, U2 and Van Morrison as well as introducing us to her own quirky, signature songs.
With several gravity-defying on-stage costume changes and an original use of props, her live shows are filled with melody and mischief. From beret to boa, this former member of ‘The Nualas’ never fails to present a night of passion and laughter.
As a composer, this multilingual chanteuse and comedienne has not looked back. As mentioned earlier, Karen’s music has featured on BBC’s ‘Ripper Street’. Her début album, ‘Very Very’, was released in September 2006 to critical acclaim. In spring 2015 Karen did a nationwide tour of Ireland, ultimately launching her new album ‘Charlatanne’ to a sold-out Whelan’s in Dublin. ‘Charlatanne‘ has since received five-star reviews (see press page).
Karen regularly works with the following top jazz maestros:
Cian Boylan – Piano, keyboards
Dave Whyte – Spanish guitar, jazz guitar
Brendan Doyle – Alto sax, clarinet, flute
Dave McCune – Drums & percussion
Guy Rickarby – Drums & percussion
Damian Evans – Double bass
Dave Redmond – Double bass
Oleg Ponomarev – Violin