VIP - Katie Burgess & Hilly BarberWinner of Manchester Theatre Showcase 2013

Would you rather live your life in the public eye or not be seen at all? This is one VIP party with a very select guest list.

VIP has it all – Gorgeous Celebrities, Witty Banter, Sexy Firemen, A FANTASTIC, wide-appealing concept and ONE HELL of a tear-jerking punchline. This award-winning play is one NOT TO BE MISSED THIS SUMMER!


TBA 2015


VIP is a new comedy play written by Thomas Ingham. Dark tales in bright surroundings, VIP follows the story of six very different souls who stumble into a mysterious room from which they cannot escape.

“several impressive performances from the six-strong cast” Manchester Theatre Awards | Read Review

“the writing of this piece was just excellent. A script that was psychologically challenging.” RemoteGoat ★★★★ | Read Review

“A novel concept, highly entertaining and excellently realised through tight writing, spot-on casting, and superb performances.” Joan Davies, Manchester City Centre Ward Councillor and regular Manchester Confidential Theatre Reviewer

VIP won the audience vote and was crowned Winner of the Manchester Theatre Showcase in April 2013 and premiered in Manchester city centre September 2013.

22_vip_rehearsal_shotWritten by: Thomas Ingham
Directed by: Clare Barry
Produced by: Paul Kenney

Starring (TBC): Katie Burgess, Caroline Warhurst, Hilly Barber, Karl Greenwood, Karun Comar and Jack Howard.

59245_482306285158490_15238000_nSearch VIP on Twitter: #VIPplay

For more information on this play or interviews, please email


The cast includes a selection of experienced performers and talented newcomers: Karl Greenwood (ex-Westend & UK No.1 Tour ‘Mickey’ in Blood Brothers, also recently seen as a reporter in Scott & Bailey), Karun Comar (recently seen as ‘Deepak’ in Scott & Bailey), Katie Burgess (recently finished filming on feature film The Wedding), Hilly Barber (variety of Stage and Screen roles, including ‘Hevi’ in award-winning play The Interpreter, Home at 24:7 Festival, Moving On and Fresh Meat), Caroline Warhurst (recent ALRA Graduate, recently played ‘Jane Eyre’ on tour with Oldham Coliseum, directed by Kevin Shaw) and relative newcomer Jack Howard (toured in Buxton Festival’s ‘Best New Writing’ 2012 winner Afterwords).

Karl GreenwoodKARL GREENWOOD : as ‘Gary’

Karl’s recent theatre credits include; ‘Mickey’ and ‘Neighbour’ (u/s Mickey) in both the West End & No.1 Tour of ‘Blood Brothers (Bill Kenwright Ltd), ‘Lysander’ in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Gawsworth Hall Open Air Theatre), ‘Clerk’ in the Organised Chaos Productions tour of ‘AfterWords’ (Winner – ‘Best New Writing’ at the 2012 Buxton Fringe), ‘Ken’ in ‘Letter Headed Paper’ (Foroais Productions/Lass O’Gowrie) ‘Mark’ in ‘Me, as a Penguin’, ‘Tony’ in ‘Wonderstruck’ (Houldsworth Rep Theatre) and ‘Xav’ in ‘Standing in the Background’ (Manchester Theatre Showcase). Karl graduated from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) in 2003.

Karl was recently involved in One Play One Day this year at Studio Salford and played Doctor/Tom in Organised Chaos’ tour of ‘Broken’ by Ella Greenhill. TV, Film and Corporate Credits include; Scott and Bailey (Red Production Company/ITV), ‘Rid’ (Winner- 2011 National Film Society Student Award), Tarmac (Top Banana), Marks & Spencer (Logistik) & a series of Idents for Zugo’s Dele Cafe during ‘Friends’ on ‘Comedy Central’ (Acrobat TV/BJL Manchester).

“a shout to Greenwood for an outstanding performance” RemoteGoat

Hilly BarberHILLY BARBER : as ‘Florence’

Hilly is an actress born and bred in Manchester. She has performed with various different companies all over the UK over the years. In her first professional job she learnt physical theatre and clowning skills and developed the character ‘Zapp’, who children loved and giggled at, with Bagatelle Theatre Company. After this there was no stopping Hilly, she worked in many brilliant pieces of theatre, ‘High Rise Society’ by Glenda Brassington, performed at the Greenroom and then in Edinburgh, ‘Song of the Whore’ by the amazing writer Julie Jones who now writes for Coronation St, where she took the emotionally charged role of Marie.

Then her career turned a different corner, she started working on a one woman comedy show ‘Does this Perfume make me look fat?’. She performed this comedic role at Dukes 92 and then went onto do another named ‘Hilly Barber and the Knickers of Doom’. She toured Yorkshire with Craven Image theatre co directed by Alice Bartlett and even shaved her whole head for a role of an ancient Egyptian in a show ‘The King who would be Queen’.

More recently she took the role last summer of ‘Hevi’ in the award winning play ‘The Interpreter, Home’ as part of brilliant 24:7 theatre festival. The character of Hevi was Hilly’s biggest challenge yet as she was catatonic and Kurdish and had been in an institution for 18 years with no one to speak her language. She eventually came out if her catatonic state and was reunited with her son. Hilly also played the Kudish Cafe lady who was slightly comedic and added some lightness to the play. For this role Hilly was nominated and went on to win best actress for ‘playgirlreviews’ studio theatre awards. Her TV work includes ‘Moving On’ for BBC directed by Noreen Kershaw and’ Fresh Meat’ directed by Annie Griffin. Hilly played the role of ‘Janice’ in the premiere of Women’s Voices in October 2013. She is very happy to be playing the role of Florence for New Live Theatre.

“I also especially like Hilly Barber as the onetime actress” Manchester Theatre Awards

Katie BurgessKATIE BURGESS : as ‘Cathy’

Katie recently finished filming on feature film ‘The Wedding’ and also took to the stage playing a variety of roles in ‘Mysterious Skin’, as well as taking part in the initial showcase of VIP at the Manchester Theatre Showcase in April. She has studied with renowned acting coach David Johnson since 2008 and a range of well-known TV directors.

New Live Theatre are delighted to have Katie return to the role of Cathy for the return production of VIP!

“Katie Burgess, as the not-so-bimbo-ish Cathy, is particularly outstanding” Manchester Theatre Awards

Caroline WarhurstCAROLINE WARHURST : as ‘Suzanne’

Caroline graduated in December from The Stage’s Drama School of the Year ALRA North where she played Jane Eyre on tour with Oldham Coliseum directed by Kevin Shaw, worked on short films with Mark Babych and projects with Joyce Branagh, Natalie Grady and Martin Gibbons. Since then she has filmed a Co-op commercial directed by Peter Cattaneo.

Previous to training at ALRA, Caroline did English at Liverpool University, short courses at Manchester School of Theatre and roles at Stockport Garrick Theatre included Masha in Three Sisters, Vivie Warren in Mrs Warren’s Profession, Karen Wright in The Children’s Hour and works by Rona Munro and Martin Crimp.

“Suzanne (Caroline Warhurst) completes the female trio, and really adds an interesting dimension to the perfectly-cast first half of the show.” RemoteGoat

Jack HowardJACK HOWARD : as ‘Jason’

Jack made his stage debut in 2010, in ‘The Madness of King George’ playing three different roles, In spring 2011 Jack performed the lead role of Hamm in Samuel Beckets Endgame and in 2012, embarked on his first theatre tour with the award winning play, Afterwords (Winner – ‘Best New Writing’ at the 2012 Buxton Fringe). More recently Jack completed his first short film and performed on stage as Dave in comedy, ‘Me as a Penguin’ and Oliver in ‘Counting the Days’ at the Manchester Theatre Showcase.

Jack revisited a childhood interest in acting and performing in 2007, after focusing on his further studies, career, and playing basketball to a semi professional level. Following 2 years of training at the Manchester School of Acting he has continued to attend workshops with established professionals and organisations such as Manchester Metropolitan University and the Library Theatre Manchester, to further enhance his skills.

“I also especially like […] Jack Howard as the forceful firefighter.” Manchester Theatre Awards

Karun_ComarKARUN COMAR : as ‘Reece’

Karun was recently seen on television screens as ‘Deepak’ in ITV’s detective drama series Scott & Bailey. He studied at the Manchester School of Acting and has featured in a range of productions from commercials to panto.




Please click the images below to see the images larger. These images may be used for reviews and advertising purposes. Image credit should be given to Andrew Madden.

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