Kelly Burke is an American-born performance artist and writer. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and makes her living in the UK.
As an actor, Kelly has performed on and off the West End, in feature film and television. Her concert work has taken her from the Royal Albert Hall and St John Smith’s Square to the Pheastantry, St James Studio and Barbarella.
Kelly was a finalist for the 2012 OffWestEnd Award for Best Actress for her solo show Zelda.
Kelly originally developed the cabaret-play Love for Sale for Wilton's Music Hall, where it sold out and then transferred to the St James Studio. After a critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016, Love for Sale moved Off-Broadway to the Soho Playhouse in New York for a six-week run. The show was Critics' Pick in TimeOut and spent six weeks on their list of 'Top 10 Things to Do in New York' - the show sold out and was extended.
“Kelly Burke seems to have come to life from a Henry Miller novel and walked straight onto the set of Casablanca. She even has her very own Sam. In this cheap bar with a “cheap pianist” we have an intimate conversation about the human heart — and Burke’s talent is spectacular.” Fringe Guru
Love for Sale is a 1930’s cabaret-play set to the music of Kurt Weill and his contemporaries. It follows a naïve American songstress as she runs off to Paris to escape the Depression — but the City of Light has a few surprises in store for her.
‘Witty, thoughtful and full of subtle nuances, this play about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife is not to be missed. Kelly Burke’s performance as Zelda is a tour de force - enthralling. Burke effortlessly creates this attractive, intelligent heroine, making her sympathetic, enigmatic and engaging in equal measure. Brilliantly written, smoothly staged and superbly acted, Zelda is one of the best hours you will spend this festival.’ ThreeWeeks
‘This is a tragic story of excess, unhappiness and wasted potential. Burke plays it with poignant charisma in a beautifully modulated production.’ TimeOut
Kelly's solo play about Zelda Fitzgerald has gone from critically acclaimed productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - to a site-specific run in a bedroom at the Charing Cross Hotel - to the West End. The play tells the story of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald's extraordinary wife, a writer and artist in her own right, whose voice - and life - were compromised by the madness of the Jazz Age and her famous husband.
Kelly's theatre credits include Laura in The Soulless Ones for Hammer Horror, In Gay Company (Jermyn Street), Margaret and Pierre Trudeau in Maggie and Pierre (Finborough), Passion Play (Duke of York's, West End), Lady Windermere in Lady Windermere's Fan (Tabard), Celia in As You Like It (Jagged Fence), Sharice in The Sluts of Sutton Drive (Finborough), and Roxanne in Marie and Bruce (Royal Court).
Film includes Justice League, The Mummy, Kill Your Friends and, most recently, Lady Macduff in GreenScreen Productions' Macbeth.
Kelly's radio work has included playing opposite Hugh Laurie in The Blind Man (dir. Mark Gatiss) and opposite Toby Stephens in The Big Sleep (dir. Claire Grove). Other radio includes Tender is the Night, The Corrections, The Road to Yalta, The Assassination of JFK, I, Robot, Dan Dare.
Kelly's concert and cabaret work includes the Royal Albert Hall, St John Smith Square, LSO St Luke's, Sotheby’s, St James' Studio, Crazy Coqs, Missenden Abbey, Pheasantry. She has worked with West End musical directors Tom Wakeley, Joseph Atkins and Michael Haslam - and Broadway's Charlie Alterman - and alongside artists like Brian May, Adam Pascal and Kerry Ellis.