Karen’s first contract after leaving Guildhall school of Music and Drama, was at the newly built Yvonne Arnaud Theatre where she played Bunty in The Vortex, and appeared in several other productions culminating in The Doctors Dilemma which transferred to the Comedy Theatre London's West End.
Her theatre work since then includes Irma La Douce (Farnham), Annie in Alfie & Nikki Dr. in Love (Bromley), Mrs Moon in Mr Kettle and Mrs Moon (Plymouth), Sybil in Private Lives (Nuffield), Polly in The Boyfriend (Chelmsford), Sister Teresa in Mistress of Novices ( Piccadilly Theatre) Winnie in Happy Days (Copenhagen), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Julia in Ghost Train (Belgrade Coventry), Portia & Charmian Shakespeare’s Rome (Mermaid), Edith in Getting Married (national tour), Christabel in Mr Polly & Rutta in Ballerina (Churchill Theatre), Candida (Castle Theatre Farnham), The Right Honourable Topsy Evans in Guests (Croydon Warehouse), Lady McDuff & 1st witch in Macbeth (Newbury + international tour), Heloise in Heloise and Abelard (touring England and Ireland with a run at The Hammersmith Theatre and Andrews Lane Theatre Dublin), A Woman of No Importance (Bury St Edmunds), plus numerous other productions, too many to mention.
Radio work includes some 40 plays and television appearances include Vendetta, Revenue Men, Jazz Age, Six Wives of Henry 8th, Softly Softly, Doomwatch, Hijack to Mogadishu, Play for Today, The Great Kandinsky, Running Late, The Bill, Chuckle Vision, EastEnders, Gypsy Girl, Holby City. Recently Karen made several appearances in Emmerdale, 2 lead roles in Doctors, and a guest appearance in Coronation Street. But perhaps what brought Karen the most notoriety were her 7 years as Miss Booth, The Art teacher in “Grange Hill”.
Films include; The Bliss of Mrs Blossom directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, 30 is a Dangerous Age Cynthia with Dudley Moore, The Lovers, Fly Boys and several short films.
Recent theatre work includes a tour of Turn Of the Screw playing Mrs Grose, Else in Festen at Theatre Clwyd and then Yvonne in Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business. This was followed with a long tour of Cranford, and tours of The Woman in White, A Christmas Carol, An Eligible man, then a tour of a new play, The Final Test playing opposite Colin Baker, Seasons Greetings, A Murder Has Been Arranged and Ladies In Retirement.
Karen’s appearances in Oxford have been for Satmatco in “Perfect”; Valda in “The Fourth Dog” for Human Story Theatre Company; “The Hamsters Revenge”, “Rangers Til I Die” and “Reflections in a Distorting Mirror” written and directed by her late husband Rio Fanning.