On September 19th 2021 Anna Karen celebrates her 85th Birthday.
Anna is a friend and a neighbour. She and her late Husband Terry Duggan were involved in many shows at their local theatre, The Kenneth More in Ilford. Anna and Terry’s long friendship with Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott was one that spanned many years and many television appearances together.
Anna Karen is known to television viewers as “Olive” from “On The Buses” and as “Aunt Sal”, Sister of Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor, her best mate ) in Eastenders. Anna has had a long career in Television, Film and Theatre, including appearing in over Twenty-seven Pantomimes across the country. She has toured in stage shows in Canada and Australia, appeared in Summer seasons as well as regularly touring the UK’s theatres.
She has appeared in three of the top rated television series-LWT’s “On The Buses” , (1969- 1973) “The Rag Trade” (1977-1978) and BBC’s “Eastenders”, (between 1996 and 2017). She appeared in the films “Carry On Camping” in 1969, “Carry On Loving” in 1970 and in the three feature film versions “On The Buses” (1971), “Mutiny On The Buses” (1972) and “Holiday On The Buses” (1973). Later film appearances included “Beautiful Thing” appearing as neighbour Marlene in 1996.
The character she created – Olive, sister of Stan (Reg Varney) wife of Arthur (Michael Robbins) and daughter of Mum, (Cicely Courtneidge and then Doris Hare) played for 74 episodes and she was taken to the public’s hearts- along with her much quoted catchphrase, “Ohh Arthur!”, so much so that her character Olive moved sit-coms when she joined the cast of “The Rag Trade” for twenty-two episodes.
Anna Karen , with her East End accent was, in fact, born in Durban, South Africa as Ann McCall. Her Father was Irish, her Mother English. She appeared in productions in South Africa before moving to London aged 17 and enrolling in The London School of Dramatic Art.
To pay for her classes, and her shared flat in Paddington, she worked as a comic’s feed for Dickie Arnold at London’s Panama Theatre Club , in Gt Windmill Street, Soho. Dickie Arnold was later to achieve fame in the TV Series “All Creatures Great & Small”. The Panama was“Non-Stop Revue” from 1.30pm to 10.30pm every day.
Anna embarked on “ Naughty But Nice” style Variety Shows around the country – in 1960 she toured in “Eve Started It!” with Syd and Max Harrison. By 1962 Anna was in the “The fantabulous show “ (she performed an act with giant ostrich feather fans!) in a West End Mayfair floorshow .
In 1967 she married Terry Duggan a popular comedian and character actor, and over the years they made several appearances together both on television and in Pantomimes and Summer Seasons. They were a perfect double act both on and off the stage and screen.
ANNA KAREN- “ON THE BUSES”
Anna had appeared on BBC Television in 1968-1969 as Maud in “Wild Wild Women”, a Sit-Com by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney. It starred Barbara Windsor as Millie, alongside Penelope Keith, Pat Coombes, Toni Palmer, Derek Francis amongst others. These writers had created the earlier “Rag Trade” for The BBC. “Wild Women” was a period version of “Rag Trade” set in an Edwardian Milliners shop. It ran for seven episodes.
On the strength of “Wild Wild Women” Anna was cast as Olive Rudge in Wolfe & Chesney’s new sit com “On The Buses” in 1969. Anna become a part of the family, firstly with veteran actress Cicely Courtneidge as her Mother, Mabel Butler for Series I, then Doris Hare for Series 2-7).
Set in Luxton, and on the Number 11 bus, Olive and husband Arthur (Michael Robbins) lived at home with Mum, Bus Driver Brother Stan Butler (Reg Varney- a veteran of the first “Rag Trade” series in 1961), and the family congregated at the Luxton Bus Company depot where Stan and his mate Jack (Bob Grant) had frequent run-ins with Inspector Blakey (Catchphrase “I ‘Ate You Butler!”) played by Stephen Lewis. Anna’s husband Terry Duggan made appearances on the Television series, and played Nobby in the cinema version.
To play Olive – once described by Anna as “The World’s ugliest woman!) she put on the thick pebble glasses, and a wig which was flat on top as well as copious amounts of padding, and remained in it as a national icon for seven series, three feature films and stage versions.
At its height LWT’s “On The Buses” was watched regularly by 16 Million viewers. (It once reached 21 Million viewers one week).
The jaunty Theme Tune was called “Happy Harry”.
The online fan club has a wealth of information. www.onthebusesfanclub.com
ANNA KAREN- THE PANTOMIMES
From the early 1970’s Anna and often Terry Duggan appeared in Pantomimes across the country. Anna was usually Fairy Olive, or Fairy Godmother, with the occasional appearance as Empress of China, Nurse. She has a fondness for Rhyl in North Wales, and panto bedside the seaside. She appeared in one of her first pantos for Granada Cinemas- the last time that Cinema chain presented live Pantomime, a tradition producer Joe Collins (Father of Joan) had kept up throughout the 50’s and ‘60’s. Here are Anna’s Pantomimes, fitted in between filming, Summer Seasons and tours throughout a long career.
1973-74 Cinderella. East Ham Granada. This was Anna’s Pantomime debut. It was also the pantomime debuts of Tony Blackburn, Anne Aston and David Barry.
The Cast: Tony Blackburn (Buttons) Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother), Anne Aston (Cinderella) David Barry, with Terri Gardener and Hugh Futcher (The Ugly Sisters), Valentine Dyall (Baron), Kay Barwick (Prince Charming), Diane Marie Lally (Dandini) Directed by Ralph Reader, Presented by Bill Kenwright and pop producer Eddie Tre-Vett. From 23rd December 1973 to 19th January 1974.
Anna was filming “On the Buses” in her role as Olive, and was booked to play “Fairy Olive” at the Granada. She joined Tony Blackburn, who played Buttons, and Anne Aston, from “The Golden Shot” as Cinderella. Playing the role of Baron Hardup was the veteran actor, famed as “The man in Black”, Valentine Dyall. The Ugly Sisters were played by Terry Gardener and Hugh Futcher.
Anna recalls “we had two weeks rehearsals for the show. I had been booked by Bill Kenwright for the panto at East Ham. It was directed by Ralph Reader….”
Ralph Reader, famous for his “Gang Shows” had previously starred in a Granada pantomime in 1948
Anna’s memories of the East Ham Granada Theatre were that they played to capacity houses..”Business was really great, and I was rebooked the following year,for Streatham, along with Tony Blackburn, Hugh Futcher and Monica Dell. The stage area and dressing rooms were in a terrible state- we ended up cleaning the place before the dress rehearsal.”
Anna remembers the crew at East Ham vividly…”They were all dockers, working shifts, then coming into the Theatre to do the shows. One day they just upped and left. Went on strike, leaving just one called “Boiler”. He stayed, and along with Terry (Terry Duggan, Anna’s husband) they held the show together until we got more crew in the following night..”
Anna also recalls the scenery collapsing on Tony Blackburn..” It fell down, all around him while he was singing..” but being Panto, it was all part of the fun for the packed house. The season ended on the 19th January, 1974, and The last of the Granada Cinema Pantomimes.
1974-75 Cinderella. Odeon Streatham.), Tony Blackburn (Buttons) Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother) Tessa Wyatt (Cinderella), Joan Savage (Dandini) , Monica Dell (Prince), Horace Mashford (Baron), Donald Hewlett & Michael Knowles (Brokers men) Terry Dennis & Hugh Futcher (The Ugly Sisters). Produced by Bill Kenwright and David Gordon. The Pantomime ran for three hours, and the vast auditorium had no microphones. Anna Karen in the review was described as “blissfully audible”. It ran from December 23rd to January 11th 1975.
1976 February 2nd for two weeks:King’s Theatre, Southsea, and at Boreham Wood in Elstree.
Goldilocks & The Three Bears. Anna Karen , Steve King (Simple Simon),Mike Onions (Dame) Pam & Mel Wingfield (Goldilocks & Prince), Joy Pett, Valerie Pett & Gerry Alexander (The Three Bears), Johnny St.Ledger (Demon) , Cricks Canine Wonders & The Coronet Dancers. Produced by Duggie Chapman.
1976-77 The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe. Weymouth Pavilion. Anna Karen, Johnny Dallas (as Old Mother Hubbard) Pauline Kaye, Brian Weston,Syd Jackson & Dick Collins and Michael Swann. For Philip Bernard Prods (Aubrey Phillips)
1977-78 The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe. Leamington Spa and short tour.
Anna Karen (Fairy Olive), Aubrey Phillips (Dame), Syd Jackson & Dick Collins (King Cole & Simple Simon), David Rome, Renee Bourne Webb, Trevor Baily, Newton Wills and Debbie Oates. For Philip Bernard Prods (Aubrey Phillips).
1978-79 Jack & The Beanstalk. Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. Leslie Crowther, Arthur Askey,(Martha Trot) Mark Wynter,(Jack) Jimmy Edwards,(King) Robert Aldous (Fleshcreep), Anna Karen.(Fairy), Margo Harris (Princess) For Duncan C Weldon, Triumph Theatre Productions. Directed by Roger Redfarn. Designed by Terry Parsons. This pantomime broke all box office records, and had the largest box office advance in the theatre’s history.
1979-80 Dick Whittington. Princes Hall Aldershot. Anna Karen (Olive, The Cook)) Ken Joy, Terry Duggan, Jenny Kenna, Michael Lomax, Bolly The Clown. Directed by Jill Fletcher. Produced by Lisa Barron for Bunny Barron.
1982-83 Dick Whittington . Nell Gwyn Hereford. Anna Karen (Fairy) Dave Peters, Lex Daye (Dame) Terry Duggan (Alderman) Angela Webb, Janet Edis. Philip Bernard Prods (Aubrey Phillips).
1984-85 Robin Hood.Cardiff New Theatre. Stu Francis,(Will Scarlett), Ruth Madoc, (Robin Hood) Anna Karen,(Dame Dierdrie) Kim Braden,(Marion) Douglas Fielding, (Sheriff) Maurice Thorogood, Douglas Anderson.Gareth Jefferson (Alan A Dale) . Four original songs by Bobby Crush. For Peter Lea & Clive Hicks Jenkins. Cardiff New Theatre Trust.
1985-86 Jack & The Beanstalk. Orchard Theatre Dartford. Bobby Davro, Anna Karen,(Vegetable Fairy) Fred Feast, Natalie Forbes, Ronne Coyles (Dame) Caro Gurney, Kenneth Oxtoby, Nigel Miles Thomas, Directed by Duggie Chapman. This was Bobby Davro’s Pantomime debut.
1986-87 Aladdin. Shaw Theatre London. Norman Beaton,(Twankey) Anna Karen (Empress) Jim Dunk (Abanazar),Richard Rees (Wishee Washee), Debby Bishop (Aladdin) Richard Tate & Bill Thomas (Chinese Policemen), Jo Warne (Genie).Directed by Ben Benison. (Written by Terry Duggan).
1988-1989 Jack & The Beanstalk. De Montford Hall, Leicester. Bernard Bresslaw (Dame Durden),Anna Karen (Witch), Barry Cryer (King),Kenny Cantor (Muddles) Jill Nalder (Jack),Taryn Kaye (Princess), Pat Roach & Tony Wadsworth (Henchmen), Fyfe Sinclaire (Giant) Andrew Buttery & Brent Haddon (Daisy The Cow).For Kenny Cantor Productions.
Jill Nalder, Welsh actress, singer, and principal Boy in many pantomimes is the inspiration behind the character Jill Baxter in Channel 4’s series “It’s A Sin”.
1989-90 Cinderella. Darlington Civic . Jimmy Cricket (Buttons), Chuckles Brothers, (Brokers Men) Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother) Nikki Ellen,(Cinderella), Anne Duval,(Prince Charming), Chris Hayward & Simon Bashford ( Ugly Sisters) Lyn & Mal Malyn (Dandini & Baron). For Nick Thomas.
In 1990 Anna Karen was made Queen Ratling of the Grand Order of Lady Ratlings, the charitable theatrical foundation. Husband Terry Duggan was invested as “Baby Rat” into the Grand Order of Water Rats.
1990-91 Cinderella. Arena St. Albans. Adam Woodyatt (Buttons), Cheryl Baker (Cinderella), Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother), Brian Cant (Baron), Guido Omissi & Russell Labey (The Ugly Sisters), Zoe Nicholas (Prince) and Sophie Hart (Dandini). Sophie carrying on a show business tradition set by her parents Ronnie Corbett & Anne Hart. Produced by Nick Thomas and Jon Conway.
1991-92 Cinderella. Lewisham Theatre. Timmy Mallet (Buttons) Brian Cant (Baron) Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother) David Karl (Dandini),Chris Nichol (Prince), Zoe Nicholas (Cinderella), Guido Omissi & Russell Labey (The Ugly Sisters), Alison Cowen, Denise Rainger, Jane Vatcher, Vanessa Leclrq, Trisha Darnes Penny Farthings, Jim Clubb’s Eskimo Dogs. Directed by Brian Cant. For Nick Thomas & Jon Conway. December 23rd to January 19th 1992.
1993-94 Dick Whittington. Eastbourne Devonshire Park. Kathy Staff,(Alderwoman Fitzwarren), Peter Duncan,(Dick), Anna Karen (Fairy Bow Bells), Graham James (Sarah The Cook), Andy Cunningham (Capt Bodger & Mate Badger),Emma Morgan (Cat), Sophia Winter (Alice), Steven Spiers (King Rat), Mark Channon and Peter Davies. Directed by Peter Duncan. John Leslie replaced Peter Duncan during the run, due to filming commitments.
1992-93 Dick Whittington. Woodville Halls Neil Buchanan, Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother) Michael Knowles(Alderman),, Paul Harris.(Dame), Bev Berridge, Julie Spillers, Sarah Peterson, Carl Trevors, Ian Stanley. Directed by Bev Berridge for John Spillers. December 19th -January 9th 1993.
1996-97 Cinderella. Princes Hall, Aldershot. Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother) Robert Hopkins, Ricky Diamond,(Buttons & Braces), Lesley Young (Cinderella), Liberty Mounten (Prince) Steve Christie (Dandini), Paul Gruner (Baron), Alan Atkins & David Horne (The Ugly Sisters).( In this production the Prince was played by an Elvis Impersonator.)
1997-98 Mother Goose. St. Helen’s Theatre Royal. Anna Karen (Mother Goose), Mathew Roper (Matt Goose), Iain Thompson (Colin), Lorraine Lisbon (Witch), Amelia Jayne Stephens (Jill), Michael Fraser (Mayor), Nicola Gossip, Beth Cowan (Fairy), Priscilla The Goose- Julie Newton Mercer / Laura Brooks. Directed by Gordon Pleasant. MD Peter Faint. For Pantoworld.Ltd. December 13th 1997-January 4th 1998.
1998-99 Cinderella. Pavilion Rhyl. Dominic Wood (Buttons) Robert Fyfe (Baron), Anna Karen (Fairy Godmother), Maureen Nolan (Cinderella), Andrea Poyser (Prince), Tom Bright & John Peate (The Ugly Sisters). For UK Productions.
1999-2000 Dick Whittington. Blackpool Grand . Ben Shepherd, (Idle Jack) Anna Karen (Fairy) Debbie McAndrew(Dick), Michael Knowles (Alderman), Tom Bright (Dame),Beverley Worboys (Alice), John Peate (Captain), Natalie Cole (Cat).Directed by Tom Bright for UK Productions.
2000-2001 Cinderella. Palace Mansfield. Ian Mercer,(Buttons), Anna Karen,(Fairy Godmother) Casey-Lee Jolleys, Sarah Louise Day, Bobbie Kent & Jamie Morris.(The Ugly Sisters). Directed by Julian Woolford. UK Productions. December 11th– January 12th 2001.
2001-02 Dick Whittington. Bournemouth Pavilion Wayne Sleep (Dame) Sid Owen, Anna Karen (Fairy) Rik Gaynor, Barrie Daniels, Natalie Cole, Harry Dickman,Karen Roberts, Mike Jerome, Directed by Simon Rawlins. Musical Director Roy Hilton. For UK Productions
2002-03 Dick Whittington. Festival Theatre, Malvern. Paul Bradley, John Forgeham, Anna Karen,(Fairy) Graham Seed, Trevor Harrison, Colin Roberts, Kate Weston, Rachel Mulcahy, Margaret Strange. Directed by Simon Rawlins. UK Productions.
2005-06 Dick Whittington. Anvil Basingstoke. Barney Harewood, Richard Calkin, Anna Karen,(Fairy) Tania Whatley, Steve Hewlett & Pongo, Stephen David,(Dame) Barry Daniels, Danielle Murphy. Directed by Jon Emmanuel, Choreography by Tracey Illiffe. UK Productions.
2006-07 Dick Whittington. Pavilion Rhyl. Anna Karen,(Fairy) Ken Morley, Rik Gaynor, Iain Rogerson, Tara Bethan, Nick Wilton (Dame), Nigel Harvey, Grace Harrington, Chris Gage. Directed by Rik Gaynor. UK Productions.
2008-09 Cinderella. Millfield Edmonton. Anna Karen, (Baroness Saloliveina), Bridie Rowe, (Cinderella) Stewart Charlesworth, (Prince)Ben Redfern, (Buttons) Paul St.James & Daryl Branch,(Ugly Sisters) Andrew Gowland. (Dandini) Harriette Blackler (Fairy Godmother) with Katy Glover, Emma Nightingale, Luke Bohanna, Dominic MCarpenter and Bjorn Lonngren.Marc Day for Millfield Theatre, Directed by Andrew Wright.
ANNA KAREN- EASTENDERS
Anna played the part of Aunt Sal in Eastenders. Sal is the older sister of Peggy Mitchell, and Aunt to the Mitchells Phil and Grant. Her role was announced in February 1996. Anna said at the time “It’s great to be back on the box, and a real treat to be working alongside my old mate” (Barbara Windsor).
Anna made recurring appearances in the BBC Series from 1996-97, again in 2002-2004, and again in 2007-2013. By 2017 Anna had appeared in over 57 episodes- usually causing trouble, comforting Peggy or on one occasion livening things up with her fire-eating act.
Anna really could fire eat! In the Variety shows she and Terry Duggan appeared in she had performed a Fire Eating Act, a Memory Act (genuine- I assisted her with this amazing feat of memorising objects called out by the audience) and Music Hall turns as Florrie Forde, or Nelly Wallace. Her rendition of “Always look under the bed”, and “Why am I always the Bridesmaid” in the persona of Olive always got a great reaction. One of the few times Peter Robbins and I did our “Sisters” in a variety show, Anna was Fairy in our Panto sketch, and Terry did his very clever” Drunk Act.”
Anna continued in Eastenders, and her recurring schedule meant she was available for touring plays and Pantomimes throughout. For Eastenders fans, here’s Anna’s character’s page: https://eastenders.fandom.com/wiki/Sal_Martin
ANNA KAREN ON FILM
Anna Appeared in Carry On Camping with her mate Barbara Windsor in 1969, both of them playing schoolgirls at “Chayste Place”, aged 31 and 32!
This film featured the iconic scene when Barbara’s bra flies off, hitting Kenneth Williams in the face as Matron Hattie Jacques look on-This June (2021) that bikini set from the film was sold at auction for a staggering £9,500 with the proceeds going to the Alheimers Society.
Anna also made an appearance in “Carry On Loving” (1970) and after the huge success of “On The Buses” made three films “On The Buses” (1971
, “Mutiny On The Buses” (1972) and “Holiday On The Buses” (1973), this last film also featured “Steptoe” Wilfrid Bramble and Anna’s friend Kate Williams.
Anna appeared in over a dozen feature films, including playing Marlene in “Beautiful Thing” in 1996.
Film fans can see her listings here: https://the-ultimate-british-classic-comedy.fandom.com/wiki/Anna_Karen
ANNA KAREN- THEATRE
Anna’s early experiences of theatre began touring in the popular “Naught But Nice” Variety revues that boasted saucy titles. Her first was “Eve Started it!”, and Anna started it in March 1960 at the Liverpool Pavilion!
In 1977 Anna gave an interview to the Daily Mirror talking about her days as a stripper:
“It was an honest way to make a living, and I was never ashamed of it. Mind you, it wasn’t full frontal in those days. We had little stars over the important bits”
In the billing for these shows Anna is described as “Scandinavia’s Gorgeous Nordic Strip Queen!”. I asked Anna in August 2021 how this came about- she replied “My agent suggested it- I was already blonde- she said ‘you get a tenner more if you’re foreign.’
“Here is a typical touring schedule :
March 1960 Liverpool Pavilion. “Eve Started it” with Vi Tye, Anna Karen, Syd and Max Harrison, Ray Stevens, David Galbraith, Earl & Edgar, Frank & Maisie, Momford’s Puppet Parade, Alicia Dells, Jimmy Kidd & June.
Syd & Max Harrison,(Brothers) were the Fathers of Mike Hope &Albie Keen, comedians. Hope & Keen presented the finest cod duelling scene in Pantomimes across the country. June Kidd later teamed up with son Paul to appear as Pantomime Cow speciality in pantomimes.
April 1960 Alhambra Bradford. “Parisienne Capers” with Tassie & Diana and Anna Karen.
April 1960 Queens Theatre Blackpool with Syd and Max Harrison, Anna Karen and The Falcons (Eddie & Eileen)
Syd & Max Harrison had previously performed a superb tap dancing act. See “Twinkling Tappers” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmTUyNkI1Gs
April 1960 City Varieties Leeds. With Alan Wells, Joy Martell and Anna Karen.
May 1960 Royalty Theatre Chester. “Striptease Vanities”, With Harry Bailey, “King Of The Blarney”, Danny Purches, and Anna Karen, with Barrie’s Dogs, and Buckmaster’s Puppets
In October Anna had finished the tour and was resident in Soho once again, appearing in Rico Dajou’s Mayfair floorshow “Saucy Lovers”- a “Fan Tabulous Show”- mainly due to Anna’s act with giant ostrich feather fans- think “Gypsy Rose Lee”! The floorshow/cabaret was choreographed by Tommy Shaw , who appeared as “Tommy Shaw and his boys”. (Two years later Tommy choreographed the annual BBC Pantomime in 1962.)
Anna appeared with Lucky McKenzie “Saucy but Lovable” Anna Karen, Margherita Lopez, Pauline Hartwell and Anne Bullen.
ANNA KAREN- ON TOUR
Anna was later to tour in plays, comedies and thrillers throughout the length and breadth of the country, with some Summer Seasons in the UK, as well as appearing onstage in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto in the 1980’s. She often toured and appeared with Husband Terry Duggan, and with cast members from “On The Buses”.
The list of plays is a very full one- here are just some of her Theatre appearances over the years, and a few of her co-stars.
1971 Harvey Richmond Theatre, London. Harry Worth, Kathleen Harrison, Tim Barrett, Anna Karen, Rose Hill, Ken Thornett, Janet Mahoney, Anthony Woodruff and Geoffrey Lumsden. For Paul Elliott & Duncan C Weldon, Triumph Productions.
1972 Stop It Nurse Windmill Great Yarmouth. Anna Karen with Bob Grant, Stephen Lewis, , Terry Duggan, Ann Emery, Beau Daniels, Dierdre Dee, Shirley Stanwell, Brenda Somers and Peter Vernon. Produced by Bill Roberton.
1973 The Busman’s Holiday . Summer season at Torquay. Anna Karen, Stephen Lewis and Bob Grant.
1974 Who Goes Bare! Anna Karen, Dave King, Valentine Dyall, Terry Duggan. Touring & Nottingham.
1974 Not Now Darling Anna Karen, George Baker, Ian Lavender,Jenny Hanley with Shaun Curry, Mildred Mayne, Margaret Inglis, Earl Robinson, Penny Barber. (This tour also played the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Theatre at Stratford Upon Avon)
1974 “Package Honeymoon” Devonshire Park Eastbourne. Anna Karen and Bob Grant. Written by Bob Grant and produced by Charles Vance. A comedy set in a Spanish Hotel.
1975 “Another Bride” – The Wedding Show Anna Karen, Terry Duggan, Hugh Futcher, Benny Lee. Tara Hotel London for a season.
The Bed before Yesterday– Anna Karen , Gary Taylor, Daphne Palmer, John Griffiths, Peter Dayson for Newpalm Productions.
1984 Steaming Anna Karen as Dawn, Eve Bland as Josie, Helen Gill, Claire Kelly and Terry Duggan. National Tour.
1988 Who Goes Bare! Anna Karen, Linda Lusardi, Trevor Bannister, Melvyn Hayes. Alexandra Birmingham & Tour.
1989 Doctor On The Boil Anna Karen, Peter Denyer, Gary Hailes, Paul Laidlaw, Anthony Mayne, Caroline Dennis and Amanda Kirby. Theatre Royal Margate.
1989 The Birth Of Merlin Roy Hudd, Anna Karen, directed by Denise Coffey for Theatr Clwyd, Mold.
1991 Noises Off. Anna Karen as Dottie Otley, with Roy North, Lynette McMorrow and Frederick Pyne.Grand Theatre Blackpool.
1992 Bazaar & Rummage Jill Gascoigne, Anna Karen, Sophie Lawrence, Debbie Arnold, Genevieve Walsh, Diane Axford. Directed by Richard Haddon.New Theatre Hull & National Tour.
1992 The Late Edwina Black Anna Karen, Lorraine Chase, David Banks, Bruce James. Southsea Kings. Alexander Bridge.
1993 Watch It Sailor! Anna Karen, Hugh Lloyd, Brian Cant, Josephine Tewson, Sally Ann Mathews. Theatre Clwyd, Mold.
1993 When Did You Last See Your Trousers? Anna Karen, Linda Lusardi, Arthur Bostrom, Hilary Minster, John D Collins. Beck Hayes & Tour.
1994 Sailor Beware! Anna Karen as Emma Hornett, David Callister, Claire Fisher. Gaiety Theatre, Isle Of Man.
1995 Straight & Narrow Anna Karen, Damian Williams, Nick Barclay, Nicola Boyce, Deborah Karen, Alan Terry, Patrick Kearns.
1997 The Farnsdale Avenue…..Murder Mystery Anna Karen, Josie Kidd, Larry Dann, Patricia Samuels. Hornchurch Queen’s Theatre & Tour.
1999 The Unexpected Guest Anna Karen as Mrs Warwick For Newpalm Productions.
1999 Love me Slender Anna Karen, Lorraine Chase and Bella Emberg.
2002 Murdered To Death Anna Karen, Nicholas Smith, Geoffrey Davies, Richard Elis, Shona Lindsay, Sarah Whitlock, Rachel Mulcahy, Andrew Loudon, Mary Duddy. Directed by Julian Woolford.
ANNA KAREN ON TELEVISION
Anna has made numerous appearances on the box over the past years- including of course “On The Buses” and “EastEnders”. Here are some of these programmes starting in 1969.
1969 Wild Wild Women (as Maud) BBC
1969-73 On The Buses (Olive Rudge) LWT
1970 Dixon Of Dock Green
1973 The Affair
1975 Milko (Bob Grant & Anna Karen)
1976 And Mother Makes Five
The Kenneth Williams Show
A Place To Hide
1977 The Dick Emery Show
1977 The Rag Trade (as Olive) LWT
1981 Stainless Steel & The Star Spies
1985-86 Troubles And Strife (Rosita Pearman) 12 Episodes, Central TV
The 1985-86 Central TV’s “Trouble and Strife” saw Anna as the bossy Rosita Pearman in a cast that included Maureen Beattie, Carol Macready, Annette Badland, Liz Gebhardt, Patricia Brake, Diana Weston and Robert Blythe.
1986 Roland Rat The Series (as Maureen McConkey 14 Episodes
1987 The Sooty Show
1996 Gayle’s World
1996-2007 EastEnders (as Aunt Sal) Recurring 57 Episodes. BBC.
1998 Goodnight Sweetheart (Mrs Hardcore)
1999 Boyz Unlimited
2002 The Bill
The Second Quest
2006 Faking It. Channel4.
Anna has worked extensively in Role Play for corporate clients, and for the NHS, and through her teaching roles has become invoved in Theatre In Education in and around Essex.She wrote and produced “Barking At War” at the National Trust’s Eastbury Manor House.