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  • Isabelle Hill

Review - Karen

The Other Palace Theatre

Playing until 24th March 2024 then to the Underbelly, Edinburgh Fringe

Photo credit: Dylan Woodley

Review {AD-PR Invite}

KAREN portrays an exploration of the human condition. Sarah Cameron-West's solo performance takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the highs and lows of heartbreak, the complexities of workplace dynamics, and the surprising twists of self-discovery. This show promises an emotional journey through the ups and downs of adulthood.


At the heart of the narrative Cameron-West finds herself grappling with the aftermath of heartache as her ex-boyfriend, Joe, moves on to the infamous Karen, the figure of workplace frustration and known for her passive-aggressive tendencies. We see a woman navigate personal turmoil alongside professional conflict in a collision of emotions.


As the story unfolds, the audience is transported into the chaos of the office where the setting becomes a battleground with high tension and a clash of personalities. Cameron-West's portrayal of corporate life is both humorous and poignant, capturing the absurdity of everyday interactions with wit and relatability. Through it all, the shadow of Karen looms large, a symbol of the challenges and frustrations that many face in their professional lives.


What sets KAREN apart is its immersive and interactive nature. Cameron-West fearlessly breaks the fourth wall, inviting the audience into her world. Through direct address and audience engagement, she creates an electric atmosphere where spectators become active participants in the unfolding drama. This intimacy creates a sense of connection and empathy, as audience members find themselves nodding in agreement and laughing uproariously.


Central to the success of KAREN is Cameron-West's commanding performance. With a blend of pent-up rage, vulnerability, and biting sarcasm, she brings the characters and conflicts to life with mesmerising authenticity. Although we only hear one side of her conversations, we see the depth of each 'character'; showcasing Cameron-West's versatility as a performer. Her physicality, facial expressions, and impeccable timing keep the audience riveted from start to finish.


Evie Ayres-Townshend's direction builds a captivating production that creates the humour and faultless wit of a combination between "Fleabag" and "Peep Show". The seamless fusion of genuine emotion and comedic flair ensures constant audience captivation from start to finish.


KAREN is an experience that offers a cathartic journey for anyone who has grappled with heartache, workplace politics, or encountered their own version of a Karen. With its blend of humour, insight, and relatable moments, this show promises to leave a lasting impression through a whirlwind of laughter, chaos, and emotional resonance.


Director: Evie Ayres-Townshend

Writer: Sarah Cameron-West

Producer: Sarah Cameron-West

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