“Karen appeared in THE TEMPEST at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York:

'Their delirious glee is matched, in another key, by the drunken court underlings (Jackie Clune and Karen Dunbar), who devise an ill-fated rebellion again Prospero with his bestial servant, caliban.'
The New York Times - NYT Critics' Pick
The Tempest at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn

“Karen recently appeared in the Donmar Warehouse's SHAKESPEARE TRILOGY - playing at the new King's Cross Theatre to marvellous reviews:

'Karen Dunbar is one of the discoveries of the evening: an actor without vanity, and with complete concentration. She is distilled contempt as Casca; utter sleaze as Bardolph.'
★★★★★ - Susannah Clapp, The Observer

'No queue for returns is more worth joining than the Saturday marathons...There have been many high-profile Shakespeare productions to mark 400 years since his death. Lloyd's Tempest is my personal favourite.'
★★★★★ - Paul Taylor, The Independent

'Karen Dunbar casts humorous insight on each part she plays...It's an exhilarating day - six hours that celebrate the imaginative power of theatre and the wonder of the women working within it.'
★★★★★ Sarah Crompton, What's On Stage

'Donmar's phenomenal all-female triumph...This is genuinely art to enchant.'
★★★★★ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

'Set in an all-female prison, these three plays emerge sharp and fresh.'
★★★★ Julius Caesar
★★★★ Henry IV
★★★★★ The Tempest
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

'Seen in its entirety, this trio of productions feels like a triumphant project. Intimate, exciting, often abrasive and sometimes startlingly funny, it's a celebration of ensemble acting and of the fertile possibilities of breaking free from from conventional ideas about casting.'
★★★★ The Tempest
★★★★ Henry IV
★★★★★ Julius Caesar
Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

'...and the gravely melody of Karen Dunbar's Glaswegian in Henry IV - to brilliant effect.'
★★★★ Sarah Bradbury, The Upcoming

“Karen Dunbar was formidable – I’ve never seen her as a great physical presence or a natural clown, but she turns out to be both, and as a towering dominatrix, she’s even weirdly sexy.

Humorous. She probably made me laugh more than anyone. The line about needing a costumectomy after she’d squeezed her fat-bum suit into a Lady Gaga thong was inspired.
The Big Issue Scotland

“Regulars Gerard Kelly… and Widow Twanky par excellance Karen Dunbar…the heart of the show, turning in warm, appealing and brilliantly dedicated performances rooted in music hall tradition that get the audience shrieking, whooping and singing along.

More Dunbar doing Dolly Parton next year? Please?
The List

“…Karen Dunbar's emergence as a gorgeous, funny and beguiling female Dame, perhaps the first Widow Twankey ever to adopt a look that's as much post-punk single mum as ageing Victorian washerwoman.

…when Ms Dunbar girds up her skirts and belts out her transformation version of the theme from Fame, accompanied by a great little chorus of singing, dancing Glasgow kids – well, the old King's panto becomes irresistible again; and ready to defend its corner in any coming Glasgow panto wars.
The Scotsman

“Karen received some wonderful reviews for ALADDIN at the King's Theatre, Glasgow:

"...already well established is Dunbar's blissful affinity with panto mayhem"
★★★★ - Mary Brennan, The Herald

"Karen Dunbar as Glasgow's new panto icon ... the Glasgow pantomime has triumphed again."
★★★★ - Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

"Dunbar, in particular is a star; a woman who merely needs to raise an eyebrow or flare a nostril to have an audience in stitches"
★★★★ - Eric Potts, The Public Reviews”

“Boasting a million pound production and two of Scotland’s most loved Christmas performers in Gerard Kelly and Karen Dunbar, the King’s presents Glasgow’s flagship pantomime. The plot is swallowed by Kelly’s Wishee Washee and Dunbar as Widow Twankey, yet the slapstick and word play keeps the hilarity high and the pace frenetic.

Dunbar makes the most of her costume changes and mobile features, making this a perfect comedy partnership.
The Stage

“Karen Dunbar, now Dame-ing it for the third time at the King’s, is well at home in the business of saucy retorts and ridiculous costumes – her Lady Gaga is a stoatir, with the jokes to match the cheeky outfit.
Herald Scotland

“Karen Dunbar is undoubtedly the funniest woman in Scotland and seems completely in her element onstage in panto. She delivers the Glasgow patter with fluid ease and the audience hang on her every word like Santa on his sleigh ... “laughing all the way”!” Cameron Lowe, UK Theatre Network

“Praise for Karen in 'The Guid Sisters'

“…a compelling Karen Dunbar”
★★★★ - The Scotsman

“Karen Dunbar… is on blistering form”
★★★★- The List

“An exemplary ensemble”
★★★★★ - The Guardian

“Karen Dunbar… predictably superb”
★★★ -
Scottish News

“Queen of Scottish Comedy.
The Sun

“Grab a ticket and head for the front.
***** The Scotsman

“She has the moves and sleight of hand to become Scotland’s most successful export since Billy Connolly with the bottle to go where he, even these days, might think twice about treading.
***** The Herald

“From the moment she bounded on to the stage she simply sizzled with energy, dealing effortlessly with hecklers and dishing out one hilarious one-liner after the other.
The Scotsman

“The hottest ticket of the Festival. She might just follow a certain Mr. Connelly onto the international stage.

“From the start she is a brilliant drunk, her emotions veering from aggression to tears to anger and contempt.
Daily Mirror Blog, August 12th 2008

“Karen appeared in CAN'T FORGET ABOUT YOU, at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow to wonderful reviews:

"Karen Dunbar as Martha is not what you would expect from the Chewin' The Fat actress. Here she plays a serious character with many layers and insecurities as she explores intergenerational relationships."
★★★★ - Rachael Hickman, The Public Reviews

"Karen Dunbar, Declan Rodgers and Carol Moore are in delightful form as Martha, Stevie and the Mammy, Dorothy"
★★★★ - Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

"...Dunbar invests Martha with real subtlety and grace - even when teetering around in a ridiculous Womder Woman costume and platform boots"
★★★ -Lorna Irvine, The List.

" The productions's strengths lie in the excellent ensemble performances. In particular, Karen Dunbar - playing the "older woman" - is as striking during the emotional scenes as the comic ones"
★★★ - Gareth K Vile, The Stage”

“Karen has received some fabulous reviews for HAPPY DAYS at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow - May 2015:

"Yet Dunbar's performance is stunning”
★★★★ - Gareth K Vile, The List

"...what makes her performance so satisfying is how real and recognisable she make her character...Dunbar and the company succeed in finding something compelling and new in an iconic work"
★★★★ - Allan Radcliffe, The Times

'In this respect Dunbar performs the remarkable feat of taking what can often be played as an interior monologue and externalising it. Without ever over playing it..."
★★★★ - Neil Cooper, Herald Scotland

"The Chewin' the Fat comedian plays Winnie with skill and poise in Andy Arnold's production."
★★★ - Mark Fisher, The Guardian.”

“She could easily be sold as a female, Scottish Peter Kay.

“Dunbar moves from subject to subject with breakneck speed and bounces back with hilarious unpredictability.
Edinburgh Evening News

“In typical Dunbar fashion, the slow-building comedy set grew into an unbearably funny comic experience that saw strangers hugging each other to stop themselves falling about laughing.
Three Weeks

“Prancing round her stage to the music of Stephanie De Sykes, demanding the audience join in sets the tone, she has them with her from the start, and never loses them.

“Often referred to as the Queen of Scottish comedy, Dunbar’s style evokes obvious comparisons to the legendary Billy Connolly as she dispenses profanities and obscenities at a furious pace.
Edinburgh Evening News

“Every stressed-out working man and women in the audience could let their hair down, laugh at unmentionable material and not feel guilty about it.
Three Weeks

“She’s like a virus, infectious and Ayr-born, manipulating the audience from the very start by getting them to join in with some call-and-response business, and she slips in plenty of snatches of populist hits to make a connection.

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Karen Dunbar is one of Scotland's best-known actors and has starred in some of its top comedy programmes including Chewin' the Fat and The Karen Dunbar Show.