Singer, actress, comedienne and playwright, Karen Egan originally qualified as a barrister (King’s Inns, Dublin). She went onto train at the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, later graduating with an M Phil in Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College.
Karen is a former member of Irish comedy singing trio ‘The Nualas’, who toured Ireland, the UK, Singapore and Australia. Their sell-out shows received five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for many years. ‘The Nualas’ also had their own radio series 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 throughout Ireland, including The Abbey, Corn Exchange, Pan-Pan, Fishamble, Bewley’s Café Theatre and many more, touring to New York, Berlin, the UK and Tasmania.
From 2011- 2016 Karen was invited as visiting artist to Rakastajat-teatteri, Pori, one of the largest independent theatre companies in Finland. During this time she worked both as an actress and singer in numerous shows, including Tiernapojat, Love Me or Leave Me, Kaikkeä Hyvää, Goodbye Pori, Kaikki Tarvii Lempee and Kaikki Tarvii Äitii, performing in both English and Finnish. She was commissioned by Rakastajat-teatteri to write ‘Kippis’, a play for their 2015 season, which was translated into Finnish by celebrated playwright Juha Siltanen. Kippis premiered in February 2015 and was revived in March 2016 to sell-out performances. Karen returned to Ireland in June 2016 and is now based in her native Dublin.
Film & Television
For film and television, Karen has appeared in Ripper Street (BBC), The Bailout (RTE), Rock Rivals (ITV) and the award-winning Irish comedy Your Bad Self, alongside fellow actors Domhnall Gleeson and Amy Huberman. She has also featured in Man About Dog (Treasure Films), Kiddo (Perry Ogden), Wasted (RTE), Fair City (RTE), Liz & Margie – Live! (RTE; LWT), X-it File (RTE) and The Stand-Up Show (BBC), hosted by comedian Ardal O’Hanlon. In 2020, Karen is set to appear in US film The Turning (Dreamworks) and Irish film Dead Happy, (Brightside Films).
In 2014 Karen was artist-in-residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris where she developed 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.
Music & Solo Shows
With sell-out successes at the National Concert Hall (Dublin), The Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and Lainssuojattomatt Festivaali (Finland), Karen offers a captivating cocktail of cabaret classics, including the songs of Brel, Piaf, Dietrich, Weill, Waits and Cohen, alongside her own self-penned ballads.
Karen’s début album, 'Very Very,' was released in September 2006 to critical acclaim. She launched her follow-up album 'Charlatanne' in spring 2015, receiving five-star reviews:
“This album is a pleasure from beginning to end, with heartfelt honesty about the vagaries of life and love written all over it."
"Showcasing eleven consistently superb songs which get better with every listen, Charlatanne puts this diva-esque singer-songwriter very firmly on the map of major Irish talent"
EIGHT/TEN HOT PRESS