Harpur’s Hollywood Irish theatre hopes

Karl Harpur
A professional Kildare actor is working on plans to bring Irish theatre to Hollywood.

A professional Kildare actor is working on plans to bring Irish theatre to Hollywood.

Leixlip native, Karl Harpur, well known on the stages of north Kildare, is currently living in Los Angeles.

Karl, whose professional career started at 18 years of age when he appeared in “Requiem For Julie” by Shaun Purcell, at the now defunct Rupert Guinness Theatre in Dublin James’ Gate,took off for the USA last year.

Karl, who has directed, written and appeared in many pantos and musical for Leixlip Musical and Variety Group, said: “Opportunity came knocking in LA last year and it’s been a great few months so far. At the moment I am working with the Upright Citizens Brigade. A comedy theatre in LA that has seen the likes of Zach Galafanakis, Ed Helms (both from the Hangover) and BJ Novak (The US Office) come through their doors.”

At present he is in talks with a couple of theatres to bring Panto to California. “The feedback has been very positive and I have no doubt that it’s a genre of theatre that would do well over here.”

On the professional stage, Karl was a key fixture in I Keane, the most successful Irish musicals ever.

He has also played along with Reg Cutley (The Wire) and Golden Globe winner, Keir Dullea of 2001-A Space Odyssey fame in the world stage premiere of The Shawshank Redemption.

He attributes much to Eamon Glancy, a great actor who sadly passed away a few years ago. “He kind of took me under his wing and from the Requiem For Julie show.

Karl went on to play Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at St. Anthony’s Theatre, show that Eamon was directed.

During this period he was studying at Senior College Ballyfermot, getting a qualification in computers to “fall back on.” Two more seasons of Panto followed and this led to a part in the Irish

Musical – the Ha’penny Bridge that was staged in the then, Point Theatre (now the 02).

“A dream of mine was recognized shortly after when I got to appear in the Gaiety

Theatre. The greatest theatre in Ireland…in my opinion!

He has also appeared in RTE’s Fair City. The Leixlip actor has also done a number of short films, subsequently shown at film festivals.

- Henry Bauress