Aug 18-19, 21-26 - Greenside @ Riddles Court
Get ready to witness a rollercoaster of emotions as our heroine navigates angst, office politics and the ultimate betrayal by her boyfriend Joe, all whilst trying to maintain her sanity. With each passing day, the tension between her and her arch-nemesis Karen reaches new heights. Join us on a hilarious journey as we watch our protagonist confront her deepest fears, explore the depths of female rage and prepare for the ultimate office showdown.
In 2021 Sarah Cameron-West debuted a twenty-minute version of ‘Karen’ and would go on to win the Velvet Smoke monologue competition. Since then ‘Karen’ has evolved into a fifty-minute one-woman show at the Fringe and it is safe to say Cameron-West will be up for even more personal and critical success in this incredible showcase of writing and acting.
Sarah Cameron-West plays the unnamed role of a thirty-something dealing with the fallout of her relationship ending at Alton Towers after four years together. As she processes the collapse of her relationship her ex Joe begins to date their shared co-worker Karen which sends her into a spiral as she seeks the advice of friends and family as she begins to rebuild her life.
Cameron-West’s character at one point recommends and quotes ‘Succession’ from writer Jesse Armstrong to a colleague and for me, Cameron-West’s work and performance reminds me of another one of his shows, ‘Peep Show’. For many years there has been talk of a ‘Peep Show’ female-focused spin-off, remake with female comedians but nothing has ever come of it. Cameron-West’s work has echoes of what made ‘Peep Show’ so iconic and how she could be that next generation. ‘Karen’ has the elements of awkwardness, introspection, and the cringe-including misadventures that ‘Peep Show’ was known for, but she infuses it with a fresh female and modern perspective on the millennial experience.
Cameron-West’s role showcases what an exciting talent she is due to her impeccable comedic timing, nuanced facial expressions, and ability to see the character's inner turmoil with such authenticity. Cameron-West has the right mixture of millennial awkwardness, social anxiety, and self-consciousness, making the character both relatable and hilariously cringe-worthy in scenes like the break-up that kicks the show off. The blend of internal and external monologues allows us to intimately connect with her struggles and anxieties.
Cameron-West performs a mixture of external and internal monologues and uses the audience in the role of her friends, co-workers and family in such an effective way. This blend gives us a brilliant insight into our lead character and allows the audience to share in and hear her inner thoughts, fears and insecurities providing us with a powerful insight into her motivations, contradictions and anxieties.
‘Karen’ explores the societal expectations, body image, career challenges, and friendship dynamics that most millennials and women will relate to. The journey our lead experiences in just fifty minutes surrounds dating, workplace confrontations, managing parents' expectations and the intricacies of female friendships. The pain and humour we feel for our lead character are such relatable situations that often take awkward and unexpected turns.
‘Karen’ provides an opportunity for audiences to delve into the nuances of our lead characters' life in a way that will resonate with a modern audience. Sarah Cameron-West marks herself as one to watch with this perfect showcase for her talent and I can’t wait to see what she does next. - Lee Hutchison
Book your tickets here > https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/karen